HomeFootball NewsAFCON: Egypt vs Ghana: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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

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The State of Play

Egypt are the seven-time African champions and have reached the final in five of the last six tournaments that they have qualified for since 2006. However, The Pharaohs kicked off the 2023 campaign with an underwhelming 2-2 draw against Mozambique which required a 97th minute equaliser through Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot, upping the pressure on former Spartak Moscow boss, Rui Vitoria.

Ghana have been in miserable form ever since their exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the group stages with Chris Hughton replacing former Borussia Dortmund assistant coach, Otto Addo. The Black Stars, who are without some key men for this tournament, have managed just one win in their last six matches and that was a very frustrating and slender 1-0 defeat of Madagascar back in September.

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Team News

There have been a few injury concerns for Egypt ahead of the tournament and now Rui Vitoria could be forced into a change in his starting line-up for this one with Mohamed Hany forced off for Omar Kamal mid-way through the second-half.

Ghana, coached by Chris Hughton, have been underwhelming throughout his tenure and the former Brighton boss is now facing a major decision after leaving both Inaki Williams and Andre Ayew on the bench at the start of their 2-1 defeat to Cabo Verde the other day.

Expected Line-ups

Egypt: El Shenawy; Gabr, Hegazi, Abdelmonem, Hamdy; Elneny, Fathy, Zizo; Salah, Mohamed, Trezeguet

Ghana: Ofori; Odoi, Djiku, Salisu, Mensah; Ashimeru, Baba; Williams, A.Ayew, J.Ayew; Semenyo

What they Said

Rui Vitoria has said he is ‘confident’ of a positive result as Egypt take on Ghana. He said: “Facing Ghana is tough; they are a good opponent, and we know what we need to do. We have players who are responsible and up to the challenge.”

Chris Hughton was reportedly the victim of an attack by a Ghana fan at the Ghanaian team hotel the other day but has thanked the FA and other Ghanaian supporters for their support in the aftermath but has wanted to remain focused on their upcoming game: “It’s something that is very much in the past, it’s had a lot of media coverage so I thank everybody for messages of support but I think today is a day to look forward to a very competitive game that we have tomorrow.”

When and How to Watch

The game at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium will kick off at 20:00 on Thursday 18th January and will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK. Subscribers to Sky Sports can alternately stream the game online via the ‘Sky Go’ app.

Prediction

On paper, it would and perhaps should be argued these are two of the strongest and most well-matched sides on the continent. However, they both have a bit of a test to make it through the group stages now because a draw in this match would really up the pressure on both. Rui Vitoria is the highest paid coach in the competition and he could do with earning that now but he is blessed with coming up against a Ghanaian side that look likely to be one of the big shock exits at the group stages so an Egyptian win, albeit by a slender margin, is to be expected.

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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