10:00 ET | 17:00 Cairo Local Time
Al-Janoub Stadium | Qatar
Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz is facing a selection headache due to the absence of a key trio as his side take on Jordan in the FIFA Arab Cup quarter-final.
The Pharaohs will have to do without defenders Ahmed Hegazi and Ayman Ashraf, who were both taken off in the 1-1 group-stage draw with Algeria on Tuesday after picking up knocks.
Ahly playmaker Magdi Afsha recovered from a minor complaint that ruled him out of the Algeria clash but Queiroz also said he won’t be rushed back into action.
Rookie defender Ahmed Yassin took Hegazi’s place in the heart of Egypt’s defence against Algeria but his lack of experience was evident as he struggled in the face of some attacks.
In midfield, Queiroz might have better options to replace Ashraf, who excelled when deployed in an unfamiliar central midfield position in a 4-0 Group D victory over Sudan. Zamalek’s versatile midfielder Ahmed Zizo is likely to replace him.
Egypt are also expected to play without a classic playmaker in the absence of Afsha, with Queiroz preferring to field a lone striker supported by two wide wingers.
Jordan booked a last-eight berth after finishing second in Group C with six points, three behind leaders Morocco.
They had the upper hand when they last met Egypt in a friendly game in 2016, securing a 1-0 victory.
“Jordan deserves their place in the quarters; they are a strong team. Chances are equal between Egypt and Jordan,” Queiroz told the pre-match news conference.
The Portuguese boss, whose line-up tweaks draw some criticism by local media, reiterated that the Arab Cup was a chance for his side to experiment with his side before the African Nations Cup and an anticipated two-legged World Cup qualifying playoff in March.
FT: Egypt 3-1 Jordan | FIFA Arab Club 2021| Quarter-Final