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Javier Aguirre: Egypt are favourites to win the 2019 African Cup of Nations

(Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Egyptian national team head coach Javier Aguire has talked about Egypt’s chances in the and his strategy when selecting players.

Egypt have been drawn in Group A with DR Congo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The latter will face Egypt in the opening game of the tournament.

The Pharaohs’ provisional squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) saw surprise inclusions of Abdullah El-Said and Walid Soliman who were never called up by since taking charge.

READ: Aguirre names Egypt squad for Africa Cup of Nations

Speaking to Time Sports, Aguirre showed optimism heading towards the tournament, saying: “We are favourites to win the 2019 AFCON title.

“We [Egypt] will always be playing at home as we are the ones hosting the tournament. We also have Mohamed Salah, who is the best player in Africa.”

Aguirre was also asked about his strategy when picking the squad 2019 AFCON. He replied, saying: “My initial goal was to plan for the 2022 World Cup.

“That’s why I was relying on young players in the squad. Circumstances are different now and we want the AFCON title, so I had to change my plans.

“We started selecting the final AFCON squad back in March. We had a list of 40 players, which was minimised to 30, and then 25. Obviously, you cannot have all players in the squad. It happens anywhere in the world,” he added.

The 60-year-old went on to praise some of the players included in the final squad, saying: “I called up Walid Soliman and Abdullah El-Said because they both have a tremendous amount of experience that we currently need.

“I was also impressed with Ahmed Abo El-Fotouh since he was a Zamalek player. He has really good abilities for his age.

“Apart from the mistake he made in the first 10 seconds of the friendly game against Nigeria, he played well and had an overall strong performance,” he added.

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