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Egypt await trio return

CAIRO: Egypt’s national team will be heavily boosted if Ahmed “Mido Hossam, Amr Zaki and Mohamed Barakat become available for the crunch World Cup qualifier against Rwanda, assistant coach Shawki Gharib said. The Pharaohs were far from convincing when they faced Guinea in a friendly game on Wednesday without the influential trio. They were held …


CAIRO: Egypt’s national team will be heavily boosted if Ahmed “Mido Hossam, Amr Zaki and Mohamed Barakat become available for the crunch World Cup qualifier against Rwanda, assistant coach Shawki Gharib said.

The Pharaohs were far from convincing when they faced Guinea in a friendly game on Wednesday without the influential trio.

They were held to a 3-3 draw at Military Academy Stadium in a warm up for next month’s World Cup qualifier at Rwanda, whom Egypt defeated 3-0 in Cairo.

“I hope Mido, Zaki and Barakat will be in perfect condition when we play against Rwanda, Gharib told Al-Hayat TV on Thursday.

Persistent injury problems prevented Zamalek striker Zaki from taking part in Egypt’s Confederations Cup campaign.

The Bulldozer, who made his last appearance in the 3-1 World Cup qualifying defeat to Algeria in June, also missed the Pharaohs’ victory over Rwanda the following month.

Zaki was injured in Zamalek’s 3-1 league victory over ENPPI but should shake off the complaint in time to make Egypt’s squad for the anticipated encounter.

Ahly’s versatile midfielder Barakat, who has been out of action since the end of last season, is also in line to feature in the Red Devils’ second league match against Police Union next week.

Mido, who fell out of favor with Egypt coach Hassan Shehata after failing to play on a regular basis at Middlesbrough, should also make his competitive debut with Zamalek next week after joining the club on a season-long loan.

“Their presence can make the difference. We want all our stars available for this game, Gharib added.

Six-time African champions Egypt lie second in Group C with four points, three behind leaders Algeria with three matches remaining.

Only the group winners will qualify for the South Africa finals next year.

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