– Egypt vs Zimbabwe AFCON opening game is set for kick off this evening at the Cairo International Stadium
– The Pharaohs are favourites to win the game as they have dominated their opponents in previous matches
– Mo Salah will also be a player to watch out for during the game as well as the entire tournament
Egypt kick off their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign when they battle Zimbabwe at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday, June 21.
The Pharaohs suffered a 2-1 defeat in the final to Cameroon in the last edition of the championship staged in Gabon.
Egypt vs Zimbabwe AFCON opening game is set for kick off this evening 11pm EAT at the Cairo International Stadium.
The Pharaohs are favourites to win the game as they have dominated their opponents in previous matches – Mo Salah will also be a player to watch out for during the game as well as the entire tournament.
Javier Aguirre’s men are the most successful team in the history of the competition with seven titles, and they are gunning for their eighth title this time.
They are also one of the favourites to win the title this year having won three of the last four staged in the north African country.
Both teams have met 16 times in the past but the Pharaohs are obviously the better side with eight wins and four draws.
Odds also favour the hosts home team to cruise to victory in their opening game at the first ever summer AFCON championship this evening.
Meanwhile, here are three major reasons football fans must watch the opening fixture of the 2019 championship staging in Egypt.
1. Mohamed Salah
The 27-year-old played a crucial role in helping his country qualify for the 32nd edition of the championship.
He scored four goals in the process — three shy of the highest goals scorer, Odion Ighalo during the qualification process.
Salah had a successful 2018-19 season with his Premier League club having won the UEFA Champions League and also emerged EPL joint top scorer with 22 goals.
The former Chelsea star is definitely one of the superstars to watch out for in tonight’s encounter, as well as the competition as a whole.
2. Egypt are favourites
The Pharaohs are the most successful team in the history of the tournament winning seven titles in all.
Cameroon come next to them with five titles while Ghana complete the top three most successful teams on the continent with four titles.
And they will be counting on their home fans to cheer them to their eighth title at the end of the 32nd edition of the championship.
3. Cairo International Stadium
This facility is a 75,000 stadium and it is one of the oldest on the continent.
It was first opened in 1960, and in 2009, it was renovated to match the modern standard and it is the home of the Egyptian national team.
It also hosts home matches for top Egyptian clubs like Al Ahly and Zamalek.
In the 1986 Africa Cup of Nations it was packed with 120,000 people to see their team winning the tournament against Cameroon.
The stadium also hosted the 2006 AFCON final which Egypt won against Ivory Coast 4-2 in penalties shootouts after a 0-0 draw, which was packed with 80,000 attendance.
There were earlier reports that Zimbabwe were at loggerhead with the Zimbabwe Football Association over unpaid wages few hours to their opening game against Egypt.
There were reports that players of the Zimbabwe national team have threatened not to face Egypt in the 2019 AFCON opener due to money issues.
However the country’s FA denied the rumours and assured no such boycott will take place.
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