Egypt vs DR Congo
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Wednesday, 26-06-2019 @11pm
The second round of group matches is upon us at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
The hosts will be eyeing a round of 16 spot when they take on DR Congo in one of the three games to be played on Wednesday.
The Pharaohs come into the game second on the four-team table, with three points after defeating Minors Zimbabwe on opening day.
A Mahmoud Trazeguet lone first-half strike was all that Javier Aguirre’s side required to get past Zimbabwe but they know they may need more against a DRC side that is desperate to save their participation at AFCON 2019.
Congo start the day bottom of Group A and on the brink of elimination that is if they lose Wednesday’s encounter.
Florent Ibange’s Leopards suffered a shock 0-2 loss at the hands of Uganda on Saturday, a game that saw them fail to get going from the word go.
What they are saying ahead of the game
Javier Aguirre, Egypt head coach
“We must learn to handle the pressure of being among the favourites in order to realise our goal of becoming African champions.
“We are looking at an improvement against DR Congo.
“Prior to the tournament, we created chances against Guinea and Tanzania put only a couple away.
“It was the same thing against Zimbabwe but we scored only once so we have worked on that and hopefully against Congo, we will be more effective.
Youssouf Mulumbu, DR Congo Captain
“We let our country down against Uganda.
“It was a bitter lesson for us and we plan to correct the situation quickly.
“Let’s see how we can react and show that we are men who want to qualify for the next round.
Despite being below par against Zimbabwe, Aguirre is expected to stick with the same starting lineup on Wednesday.
Salah was selected in his preferred right-sided position in attacking midfield, offering support to Mohsen.
Walid Soliman, Amr Warda and Nabil Emad were all introduced from the bench last time out and are pushing for inclusion in this key match.
As for the visitors, Ibenge may tweak things slightly after suffering a shock loss last week.
Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga, a second-half sub against Uganda, is among those in contention to return to the starting lineup.
Yannick Bolasie offered little, meanwhile, but he is one of the more talented players in the squad and should retain his place out wide.
Egypt have won two of their last three games against Congo DR in the Africa Cup of Nations, losing the other.
The Leopards are the only team to have eliminated Egypt at the AFCON when the Pharaohs have hosted the tournament, doing so in the semi-finals of the 1974 edition – the last time Congo DR lifted the cup.
Not since March 2012 have the sides faced off, with that friendly match finishing goalless.
The other games on Wednesday
-Nigeria vs Guinea @5:30pm
-Uganda vs Zimbabwe @8pm
-Cameroon 2-0 Guinea-Bissau
-Ghana 2-2 Benin