HomeFootball NewsAFCON: Egypt vs DR Congo: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and...

AFCON: Egypt vs DR Congo: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

It has been a turbulent Africa Cup of Nations campaign for seven-time African champions, Egypt. Coached by former Spartak Moscow boss Rui Vitoria, the Egyptians began their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Mozambique, requiring a 97th minute equaliser from the penalty spot by Mohamed Salah. Salah was then forced off against Ghana as Egypt fought back from a goal down twice to earn a point. They then squeezed through with three successive 2-2 draws after conceding in the 99th minute against Cabo Verde.

The Democratic Republic of Congo have a genuinely impressive array of talent in the final third but they have underperformed going forward. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Avram Grant’s Zambia before holding a very strong Moroccan side to a 1-1 draw in their second game. They then stumbled into the Round of 16 by sharing a goalless draw with Tanzania on Wednesday evening.

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Team News

The biggest issue for the Egyptians in this one remains the injury to Mohamed Salah but goalkeeper, Mohamed El Shenawy, was also forced off injured. Mohamed Elneny is expected to return, whilst Trezeguet should also finally get his start after making another impact off the bench against Cabo Verde the other day.

The Democratic Republic of Congo have struggled to find the right fluency in attack so far in this competition but Theo Bongonda and Cedric Bakambu, who were both dropped to the bench the other day, are expected to return for this one.

Expected Line-ups

Egypt: Gabal; Hany, Hegazi, Abdolmonem, Hamdy; Fathy, Elneny, Ashour; Trezeguet, Mohamed, Marmoush

DR Congo: Mpasi; Kalulu, Mbemba, Batubinsika, Masuaku; Pickel, Moutoussamy; Wissa, Kakuta, Bongonda; Bakambu

What they Said

Rui Vitoria has been embroiled in a bit of a scandal after criticising Liverpool’s comments over Mohamed Salah. He said: “We didn’t want to alarm anyone. I didn’t think it was right for Liverpool, via any intermediary, to speak about this, because we had a tremendously important game today.”

Sebastian Desabre has come under a fair bit of pressure in charge of the Leopards, blaming the heat for a post-match altercation with Morocco in their draw last week and then limping through past manager-less Tanzania.

When and How to Watch

This match will be played at Laurent Pokou Stadium at 20:00 on Sunday January 28th and will be televised live on Sky Sports. The game can be streamed via the Sky Go app.

Prediction

Rui Vitoria is the highest paid coach at the tournament but is coming under unrelenting pressure from the public as his Egyptian side continue to underperform, failing to win any of their group stage matches. However, as they stumble into the knockouts they come up against a Democratic Republic of Congo side also seemingly uncapable of getting over the line but without the experience to do so. As a result, an Egyptian victory remains the likeliest outcome for this one.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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