Egypt and Arsenal FC of London midfielder, Mohammed Elneny, has warned his Arsenal team-mate, Alex Iwobi, who recently pledged his allegiance to Nigeria, dumping his country of birth, England, that the Egyptian national team (Pharaohs) will be a tough nut for the Super Eagles to crack when they clash in the two legs of their AFCON 2017 qualifiers, which comes up this Friday in Kaduna, and next week Tuesday in Alexandria.
Speaking on MBC TV, Elneny said:
“I have a good feeling that we (Pharoahs of Egypt) will be able to win the match. Nigeria is a tough team, but we are good. I also feel that I am surrounded by support from everyone encouraging us to get back to winning. I told him (Iwobi) that it will be hard for Nigeria to beat Egypt.”
The Arsenal midfielder has kicked-off training with the Pharaohs ahead of Friday’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria, alongside Roma winger Mohamed Salah.
Similarly, Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi has also joined the Super Eagles team in camp ahead of the match against Egypt scheduled for this weekend and next Tuesday.
The Pharaohs are expected to arrive in Nigeria on Wednesday as both countries prepares for a crucial AFCON 2017 qualifying double header. The first leg will be played on Friday in Kaduna, while the return leg will take place in Alexandria Tuesday next week.
The Pharaohs of Egypt (seven-time African champions) who has won the tournament in their last three participation (2006, 2008 and 2010), failed to qualify for the next three tournament under helms of various managers including Hassan Shehata, his assistant Shawky Gharib and American Bob Bradley.
Despite their record in African football, Super Eagles interim coach, Samson Siasia has expressed confident that the Super Eagles will beat the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier matches.