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Cúper: Shikabala is best alternative to Abdallah El-Said

Cúper: Shikabala is best alternative to Abdallah El-Said

Photo: Robert Hradil/Getty Images

Egypt manager has revealed that will be ’s backup option ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Cúper announced on Sunday morning a 29-man preliminary squad for Egypt friendlies ahead of the World Cup, before including six reserves on Monday to round up his 35-man squad.

READ: Cúper justifies exclusion of Hussein El-Shahat from World Cup squad

Abdallah El-Said was the only playmaker to be named in the squad, with Saleh Gomaa and Mohamed Magdy being excluded by Héctor Cúper.

However, the Argentine manager revealed that El-Said’s alternative is Mahmoud Shikabala, who has 29 caps to his name.

“Every player in the national team has an alternative. There is no reason to worry,” Cúper said during his press conference on Monday.

Abdallah El-Said

Photo: Robert Hradil/Getty Images

“Shikabala is the best alternative to Abdallah El-Said and we are not worried about that.

“He is an alternative to Abdallah, but that does not necessarily mean he will in Russia. There are three friendlies which will help us evaluate all the players, including Shikabala,” Cúper said.

The Pharaohs’ training camp will kick off on May 22 and they will face the Kuwaiti national team on May 26 in Kuwait before playing Colombia and Belgium on June 1 and June 6 before the World Cup.

“The Kuwait friendly will be an important one and will help us choose our starting eleven. We will try a number of players against them,” he added.

“The fans shouldn’t think it is an easy game. We will see what happens, but we will go there to win.”

Photo: Robert Hradil/Getty Images

The national team will travel to Russia on June 10, five days before their opening game against Uruguay.

Egypt, who were drawn in Group A, will face hosts Russia on June 19 and will play their final group game against Saudi Arabia on June 25.

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