LIVE: Egypt v Libya | World Cup 2022 qualifiers

LIVE: Egypt v Libya | World Cup 2022 qualifiers

15:00 ET Canada-USA | 21:00 Cairo Local Time

Borg El Arab Stadium | Alexandria | Egypt

Egypt are unbeaten in their opening two qualifying games this year, starting their campaign with a 1-0 win over Angola, and last time out earning a point away against Gabon.

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That 1-1 draw in September saw the end for manager Hossam El-Badry, who was sacked by the Egyptian FA after his side had to wait until the 90th minute for an equalizer, which came courtesy of Mostafa Mohamed.

Portuguese manager Carlos Queiroz was announced as El-Badry’s successor in September and he hopes that the Pharaohs can develop a winning culture under his leadership to help them on their way to qualifying for the Qatar World Cup.

Egypt’s squad would have been disappointed to only draw against Gabon, which allowed table-toppers Libya to open a gap between themselves and second place, but after Omar Gaber was sent off for the away side, the 10 players of Egypt can be grateful for the point they did earn in the closing stages of that game.

Libya can achieve their aim of reaching the World Cup this month, with a double-header against Queiroz’s new side as the teams meet for a second time on Monday, but that also gives Egypt the opportunity to leapfrog Libya heading into the final two qualifiers in November.

“Results show that Libya are a strong team as they are currently on top of the group,” Queiroz, whose first match in charge saw Egypt defeat Liberia 2-0 in a friendly last week, told reporters.

“We only had five days to prepare for this important meeting but we studied well the strong and weak aspects of Libya’s game.”

Queiroz dropped a bombshell by leaving out Ahly’s key duo Magdi Afsha and Mohamed Sherif, with observers scratching their heads as to why he made such a bold decision.

The former Real Madrid and Portugal boss refused to be drawn on his squad selection, saying he would rather speak about his team as a group.

Sherif, who netted a double against Liberia with two poacher efforts, was the Egyptian league’s top scorer last term with 21 goals while playmaker Afsha was one of Ahly’s standout performers in a season in which they won the African Champions League and finished as runners-up in the premier domestic competition.

One theory is that Queiroz would rely more on Egypt’s foreign-based players, with Turkey-based duo Mostafa Mohamed and Ahmed Kouka vying for the lone striker’s position.

It also remains unclear if Queiroz will stick to the 4-2-3-1 formation adopted by El-Badry or introduce a more modern 4-3-3 scheme.

Whatever the strategy, Liverpool’s red-hot forward Mohamed Salah will shoulder Egypt’s hopes of unlocking Libya’s defense and running them ragged.

Salah has been in imperious form lately as he tops the Premier League’s scoring chart with six goals, which included a sublime strike in the thrilling 2-2 draw with Manchester City last weekend.

Egypt welcomes back Mohamed Elneny after the Arsenal midfielder sat out the opening two matches against Angola and Gabon because of an injury.

First-choice goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy received a knock in training but he should be fit to stand between the sticks against Libya.

Egypt host Libya in Alexandria behind closed doors, with authorities, reportedly declining a request by the country’s football association to lift a long-standing crowd ban.

Both sides will meet again three days later in Benghazi.

Egypt possible starting lineup:
El Shenawy; Fetouh, El-Wensh, Ashraf, Elmohamady; Fathi, Hamed, Elneny; Salah, Hassan, Mohamed

Libya possible starting lineup:
Nashnush; Sherif, Salama, Badri, Tuhami; Sabbou, Ellafi, Khoja, Warfali; Houni, Zubya

LIVE: Egypt v Libya | World Cup 2022 qualifiers

15:00 ET Canada-USA | 21:00 Cairo Local Time

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