AFCON 2019 favourites Egypt, who will face Khama Billiat's Zimbabwe and Dennis Onyango's Uganda in their group, have announced their preliminary squad for the tournament, headlined by Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah.
Coach Javier Aguirre has opted to call 25 players up for his provisional squad, with Salah being the standout name after another prolific campaign with the Reds and four goals during the AFCON qualifiers.
"We called up two extra players in case we could face any injures in the coming period. The final 23-man squad will be submitted on 11 June," Egypt assistant coach Hany Ramzy said, as quoted by ahramonline.
The hosts will face Tanzania and Guinea in warm-up games before kicking off the 2019 AFCON against Zimbabwe, with DR Congo and Uganda being the other teams in Group A.
The biggest surprise in Aguirre's selection was the return of Al Ahly playmaker Walid Soliman, who had announced his international retirement in November, while former Stoke City and Huddersfield Town winger Ramadan Sobhi was arguably the most prominent omission.
Here is Egypt's full preliminary squad, as announced on their official Twitter account:
Goalkeepers: Ahmed El-Shenawi (Pyramids FC), Mohamed El-Shenawy (Ahly), Mahmoud Genish (Zamalek), Mohamed Abou-Gabal (Smouha)
Defenders: Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa), Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion), Omar Gaber (Pyramids FC), Ali Ghazal (Feirense), Ayman Ahsraf (Ahly), Mahmoud Hamdy (Zamalek), Baher Elmohamady (Ismaily), Ahmed Ayman Mansour (Pyramids FC), Mahmoud Alaa (Zamalek), Ahmed Aboul Fotouh (Smouha)
Midfielders: Walid Soliman (Ahly), Abdallah El-Said (Pyramids FC), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mahmoud "Trezeguet" Hassan (Kasimpasa), Amr Warda (Atromitos), Nabil Emad (Pyramids FC)
Forwards: Ahmed Aly (Arab Contractors), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Marwan Mohsen (Ahly), Ahmed "Kouka" Hassan (Olympiacos)
The Pharaohs are the record champions in AFCON history, having claimed the trophy seven times – with three of their triumphs coming as previous hosts.
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