Wednesday Mar 24, 2021. 11:00
Egypt will look to seal qualification for the next Africa Cup of Nations when they face hosts Kenya in a Group G match at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on the evening of Thursday 25 March 2021, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.
The group standings see Egypt and Comoros tied on eight points at the top of the log, with Kenya five points back in third place and Togo (already eliminated) completing the quartet with one point.
The Pharaohs need only avoid defeat in this game to book their spot at Cameroon 2022 – the first step on the road to potentially winning a record-extending eighth Nations Cup title.
They were last in qualification action in November 2020, taking a full six points off Togo with wins both home (1-0) and away (3-1).
Coach Hossam El Badry has urged his European-based players to step up and lead the team to decisive qualification: “The foreign-based players have to produce a good performance and give an added value to the team,” he explained.
“They are asked to produce a different performance from their counterparts who plays in the domestic league. They have a great responsibility, especially since we have a target to achieve.”
Kenya, meanwhile, must claim a win to keep alive their hopes of returning to the AFCON for a second successive tournament.
The Harambee Stars’ qualification hopes suffered a major blow in November 2020 when they could only draw 1-1 at home to Comoros and then suffered a 2-1 away defeat at the hands of Les Coelacantes.
Coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee has named a squad which does not include Victor Wanyama, instead opting for a new-look selection which is less reliant on foreign-based players.
“As a national team coach there are some tough decisions I have to make for the betterment of the team. I have selected these players based on their current form and activeness in their respective leagues, nothing else,” said Mulee.
In head-to-head stats, Kenya and Egypt have met in 11 previous matches in international football dating back to 1977. The Pharaohs have an unbeaten record in the rivalry, with eight wins and three draws.
One of those stalemates was when the teams first met in Group G of these qualifiers, with their November 2019 clash in Alexandria ending 1-1 thanks to goals from Kahraba and Michael Olunga.