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2018 WCQ: Egypt will test some players against Ghana – Hector Cuper

Egypt coach Hector Cuper has revealed that he will give more space to new figures when the Pharaohs take on Ghana on Sunday in their last World Cup qualifier.

The Pharaohs have already secured their World Cup berth following a 2-1 win against Congo last month.

“We will give some players more chances against Ghana. It is an important match because we need to keep realizing good results even if we achieved our target,” the Argentinean tactician told a presser on Monday.

Cuper handed former PAOK and Zamalek winger Mahmoud “Shikbala” Abdel-Razeq his first call-up since 2013 following a string of impressive displays since joining Saudi-based team Al-Raed last summer.

“Shikabala has improved a lot recently and I wanted to test him as a second striker or in the number 10 position. He’ll get his chance against Ghana,” Cuper added.

He also revealed that he decided to drop Liverpool star Mohamed Salah from this game to give him a break after an intense start of the season.

“We saw that Salah is exhausted physically and mentally and so I decided to rest him. It will give us the opportunity to see other players play in his position,” Cuper said.

The Pharaohs talisman has been in a scintillating form at Liverpool scoring 12 goals in 16 games in all competitions so far.

Cuper initially included Salah in his squad for the game but Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp revealed on Saturday that the 25-year old winger asked for some time to breathe.

When asked if he’ll test new players in the upcoming period he said it is difficult to bring in new faces before official games.

“I am following the league games closely, there are some good players but I can’t include them because there is little time to prepare them and include them in our system. We are trying to get more time for our preparations to the World Cup and maybe we’ll give the opportunity for other players according to our needs and their capabilities to adapt,” he said.

Cuper also admitted that his defensive tactics are not popular among Egyptians but he said that he was able to get results and that comes first for him.

He may have to change his tactics according to the opponents and the quality of his players in the upcoming period.

“We are going to the World Cup and we will be playing against big teams. We are not going there to just participate, that is not going to happen. We are very motivated and enthusiastic and we will be looking for the victory in each of our games.

“We are trying to have a good preparation program. I am trying to play a game each month but I know it will be difficult but our aim is to play between 5 to 8 games before the World Cup,” Cuper concluded.








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