MX23RW : Wednesday, May 25 03:04:30| >> :120:60611:60611:
[monks data]
Jan 30, 2022 at 3pm UK at Stade Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidjo
2 - 1
Salah (53'), Trezeguet (100')
Kamal (25'), Mohamed (78'), Ashraf (80'), Abdelmonem (105+1'), Queiroz (120')
Boufal (7' pen.)
Amallah (34'), Hakimi (78')

Preview: Egypt vs. Morocco - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations clash between Egypt and Morocco, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two North African heavyweights will battle for a place in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations when Egypt and Morocco go head to head at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo on Sunday.

This will be the first meeting between the sides since 2017, when Morocco cruised to a comfortable 3-1 victory in the Africa Nations Championship qualifiers and the Atlas Lions will be hoping for a repeat of that result.

Match preview

Egypt's Mohamed Abdelmonem celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 19, 2022© Reuters

Carlos Queiroz's Egypt picked up their biggest result at the Africa Cup of Nations last Wednesday when they saw off tournament favourites Ivory Coast on penalties following a goalless 120 minutes.

In a game where clear-cut chances were at a premium, the Pharaohs came closest to breaking the deadlock when they hit the post in the first half, and with nothing to separate the sides after extra time, Mohamed Salah calmly converted his all-important penalty to condemn the Elephants to a 5-4 defeat on penalties.

This followed a decent run in the group stages, where they kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Nigeria on January 11 before claiming successive 1-0 wins over Guinea-Bissau and Sudan to finish runners-up in Group D.

Egypt are the most decorated side in Africa with a record seven Africa Cup of Nations titles — with their last triumph coming in 2010 — and they will look to keep the juggernaut rolling and go all the way once again 12 years later.

However, standing in their way is an opposing side who have been utterly dominant in the history of this fixture, claiming 14 wins and losing just three in the last 29 meetings between the teams.

Morocco's Youssef En-Nesyri celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 25, 2022© Reuters

Morocco, on the other hand, had to dig deep last time out when they fought back from one goal down to claim a 2-1 victory against a resilient Malawi side.

After falling behind to Gabadinho Mhango's seventh-minute strike, Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri restored parity on the stroke of half time before Achraf Hakimi scored a beauty in the 70th minute to turn the game on its head.

This followed an unbeaten run in the group stages, where they secured smooth passage into the round of 16 after picking up seven points from three games to finish at the summit of Group C.

This was also the Atlas Lions' first AFCON knockout-stage victory in almost two decades, dating back to 2004 when they went all the way before falling at the last hurdle as they were beaten 2-1 by host nation Tunisia in the final.

Vahid Halilhodzic's men head into Sunday's game unbeaten in all but one of their last 32 games in all competitions, claiming 26 wins and five draws since they were beaten by Benin on penalties in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations back in 2019.

Egypt Africa Cup of Nations form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Egypt form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D

Morocco Africa Cup of Nations form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Morocco form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz on January 19, 2022© Reuters

Egypt could be without the services of 28-year-old midfielder Hamdi Fathi, who is a doubt after he was brought off midway through the game against Ivory Coast through injury.

Should the Al Ahly man fail to recover in time for the game, his replacement Zizo could come into the mix for his first starting appearance at the tournament.

The Pharaohs will also take to the pitch without Akram Tawfik as the 24-year-old has been out of action since picking up an injury in the opening game against Nigeria.

Mustafa Mohamed, Omar Marmoush and Salah have started each of their four games so far and we expect to see the trio combine at the attacking end of the pitch once again on Sunday.

On the back of an outstanding display against Malawi last time out, Halilhodzic could name a similar side against the Pharaohs, meaning we could see an attacking duo of Ayoub El Kaabi and En-Nesyri once again.

Hakimi put on a clinic in the aforementioned game and we expect to see the Paris Saint-Germain full-back team up with Romain Saiss, Nayef Aguerd and Adam Masina at the defensive end of the pitch.

Having recently recovered from an injury, Queens Park Rangers midfielder Ilias Chair returned to the fold last time out when he was an unused substitute.

Egypt possible starting lineup:
El-Shennawy; Kamal, Hegazi, Hamdi, Ashraf; Zizo, El-Sulya, Elneny; Mohamed, Marmoush, Salah

Morocco possible starting lineup:
Bono; Hakimi, Saiss, Aguerd, Masina; Amrabat, Amallah, Louza; Boufal, En-Nesyri, El Kaabi

SM words green background

We say: Egypt 1-2 Morocco

Egypt face the daunting task of going up against a free-scoring Morocco side who have lost just once since 2019. The Atlas Lions, who have hit their stride, appear simply unstoppable at the moment and we are tipping them to come away with the win in normal time.

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