Egypt’s new coach Rui Vitoria will get to watch Egypt players in action for the first time when they host Niger in Alexandria in a friendly game on Friday.
14:00 ET | 20:00 Cairo Local Time
Venue: Borg El Arab Stadium | Alexandria | Egypt
The Portuguese was named as Egypt’s new boss in July, succeeding Ehab Galal whose brief tenure lasted just three games.
A stunning 2-0 loss to Ethiopia in an African Nations Cup qualifier and a 4-1 defeat by South Korea in a friendly prompted the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to show Galal the door and bring in Vitoria.
Vitoria, a two-time Portuguese league winner with Benfica.
In February, Egypt lost to Senegal on penalties in the African Nations Cup final and, a month later, they suffered another shootout defeat by the same opponents in a World Cup qualifying playoff, thus missing out on a place in the Qatar finals.
Egypt won’t play any competitive games this year but Vitoria will have a chance to assess his squad in three friendly matches. The Pharaohs will also face Liberia on Tuesday before meeting Belgium in a high-profile friendly in November, a few days before the World Cup gets underway.
“I know I have a big responsibility. But I am ready for all the challenges,” the 52-year-old wrote on Instagram after being unveiled as Egypt’s new boss.
Vitoria stuck the old guard when he announced his squad for the Niger and Liberia friendly games but still picked several uncapped players, including Pharco FC midfielder Mahmoud Hamada, Ahly’s full-back Karim Fouad and Pyramids defender Osama Galal.
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah will spearhead Egypt’s attack, with Nantes frontman Mostafa Mohamed likely to occupy the lone striker role.
Goalkeepers: Mohamed El-Shennawi (Ahly), Ahmed El-Shennawi (Pyramids), Mohamed Sobhi (Zamalek)
Defenders: Ahmed Hegazi (Ittihad Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), Karim Fouad, Mohamed Abdel-Moneim (Ahly), Omar Gaber, Ali Gabr, Osama Galal, Mohamed Hamdi (Pyramids), Mahmoud El-Wensh, Ahmed Fattouh (Zamalek)
Midfielders: Hamdi Fathi, Ayman Ashraf (Ahly), Tarek Hamed (Ittihad, Saudi Arabia), Mahmoud Hamada (Pharco), Eslam Eissa (Pyramids), Ahmed Zizo, Emam Ashour (Zamalek), Mohamed Ibrahim (Ceramica Cleopatra), Abdel-Rahman Magdi (Ismaily), Mahmoud Trezeguet (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Omar Marmoush (Wolfsburg, Germany)
Strikers: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Ahmed Kouka (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Marwan Hamdi (Masry), Mostafa Mohamed (Nantes, France)
Live: Egypt v Niger | International Friendly