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Salah, 39 Others Makes Egypt Preliminary Squad For 2021 AFCON

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz has announced on Sunday a 40-man preliminary squad for the 2021 African Cup of Nations scheduled to be held in Cameroon between 9 January and 6 February.

According to a statement by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), the final 23-man squad will be announced by the end of December.

In their bid to win a record-extending eighth African Nations Cup, Egypt will play in Group D of the biennial tournament alongside Nigeria, Sudan and minnows Guinea-Bissau.

The Pharaohs key midfielder Tarek Hamed is the prominent absentee in the preliminary squad as the Zamalek star remains unfavourite choice for Queiroz who also excluded him from the recent FIFA Arab Cup. On Saturday, Egypt ended the Arab Cup at the fourth place after losing 5-4 on penalties to hosts Qatar following a drab goalless draw.

The Portuguese coach Queiroz also dropped Smouha winger Hussein Faisal who was one of his key elements at the Arab Cup, meanwhile Ghazl El-Mahalla’s defender Mohamed Fathallah got his first international call up in Sunday’s announced squad by the former Portugal and Colombia coach.

Liverpool star winger Mohamed Salah, Arsenal’s midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Aston Villa winger Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan are the prominent names among the foreign-based players called up for the most prestigious football tournament in Africa [the African Cup].

Queiroz didn’t call any of the foreign-based players for the Arab Cup given the tournament falls outside of the normal international calendar.

The Egypt coach said repeatedly before the Arab Cup that he would use it to try out new strategies and inject fresh blood before next month’s Nations Cup and an anticipated World Cup qualifying playoff in March.

Under the guidance of Queiroz, Egypt recently secured a place in the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which will be played next March in a two-legged form against another group leader.

Egypt’s 40-man preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shennawy (Ahly), Mohamed Fawzy (Ismaily), Mohamed Sobhy (Farco), Mahmoud Gad (Enppi)

Defenders: Ayman Ashraf (Ahly), Ahmed Fatouh (Zamalek), Ahmed Hegazy (Ittihad of Jeddah), Akram Tawfik (Ahly), Mahmoud ‘El-Wensh’ Hamdi (Zamalek), Mahmoud Alaa (Zamalek), Ahmed Yassin (NBE), Mohamed Hany (Ahly), Mohamed Abdel-Monem (Future FC), Mohamed Hamdy (Pyramids FC), Mohamed Fathallah (Ghazl El-Mahalla), Ahmed Ramadan Beckham (Smouha), Marawan Dawoud (Enppi)

Midfielders: Omar Kamal (Future FC), Amr El-Sulaya (Ahly), Mostafa Fathi (Zamalek), Mohamed Magdi “Afsha” (Ahly), Emam Ashour (Zamalek), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Abdallah El-Said (Pyramids FC), Ramadan Sobhy (Pyramids FC), Ahmed Sayed Zizo (Zamalek), Ibrahim Adel (Pyramids FC), Ahmed Refaat (Future FC), Nabil ‘Dunga’ Emad (Pyramids FC), Hamdy Fathy (Ahly), Mohanad Lasheen (Talae El-Geish)

Forwards: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Mostafa Mohamed (Galatasaray), Omar Marmoush (Stuttgart), Marwan Hamdy (Smouha), Ahmed “Kouka” Hassan (Konyaspor), Ahmed Yasser Rayyan (Altay), Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan (Aston Villa), Mohamed Sherif (Ahly).

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