The first Africa Cup of Nations played during the summer months gets under way on June 21.
Host nation Egypt, captained by Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah will be looking to get off to a good start when the Pharaohs face Zimbabwe at the Cairo International Stadium.
A number of world class players will be on show including Salah’s Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane as well as Morocco and Ajax star Hakim Ziyech and Crystal Palace talisman Wilfred Zaha, who will be representing the Ivory Coast.
Liverpool have been handed a huge boost in the race for the Premier League title with Mohamed Salah set for a break from international football next month.
Salah, the forward, was due to link up with the Egypt squad in March for two fixtures, the first against Niger in an AFCON qualifier before facing Nigeria in a friendly four days later.
These matches would be towards the end of the month, with the English title race – which is already intense – further hotting up.
There is always the risk of injury when playing international football, while fatigue can also set in with two games played far apart in distance but close together in date over the break.
However, Liverpool will have no worries over Salah next month, with the 26-year-old set to sit out the March international break as Javier Aguirre, the Egypt head coach, hopes to test new players on the international scene.
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Salah’s absence was confirmed by Egyptian Football Association vice-president Ahmed Shobier to KingFut.
“Mohamed Salah will not play the Niger game in the AFCON qualifiers or the Nigeria friendly,” Shobier said.
“Ahmed Hegazi will probably also be left out of the squad.”
Hegazi’s absence is a boost for West Brom as well, with the centre-back a key player for the Championship promotion-chasers.
Liverpool play against Everton, Burnley, Fulham and Tottenham in March’s Premier League action, while they also visit Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 clash on the 13th of the month.
Mohamed Salah was the hero for Egypt once more after scoring a last minute winner to help his side secure a 3-2 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier win over Tunisia.
The ‘Egyptian King’, as he is affectionately known by Liverpool fans, is somewhat immortal in his homeland but maybe not quite everyone in Egypt.
One fan in the stadium wished Salah, 26, hadn’t left it so late because she had to get back home to do her homework!
The little girl’s mini-crisis became known after a picture of her holding a sign addressed to Salah made the rounds on Twitter.
It read: “Salah please score, I want to go home, I have homework.”
And Salah, who has now scored in each of his last eight international matches, responded on Twitter, saying: “I really tried to let you go home early, and sorry to have kept you here until the last minute.
I really tried to let you go home early, and sorry to have kept you here until the last minute. I hope your teacher tomorrow understands the situation.
Mohamed Salah has flown back to Liverpool to receive treatment for an injury he picked up while on international duty with Egypt.
The forward limped off with a muscle problem during the latter stages of the Pharaohs’ Africa Cup of Nations qualifier win over eSwatini – formerly Swaziland – on Friday in a game which also saw the Reds star score directly from a corner.
Salah received treatment on the side of the pitch but was unable to shake off the problem.
Egypt were subsequently forced to finish the game with ten players as they had used all three substitutes before Salah went off, however they still ran out 4-1 winners.
And following discussions with the Premier League club, the Egyptian FA confirmed Salah has gone back to Liverpool and will not feature for his country’s return game against eSwatini on Tuesday.
The statement read: “Javier Aguirre has allowed Salah to return to his club and he will not participate against eSwatini next Tuesday to give him time to recover.
“Mohamed Salah had complained during yesterday’s match versus eSwatini about stress in his muscle.
“He was medically examined and underwent an X-ray post-game.
“Following communication with Liverpool’s medical staff, it was determined the player would be unable to player in the next match.”
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Some Reds fans may be concerned about the Egyptian’s form but some of the Salah magic from last season could well be coming back judging by a goal he scored during the Pharaohs’ 4-1 victory in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland.
The forward amazingly scored directly from a corner to put his country 4-0 up.
The Reds No.11 appeared to pick up an injury late in the game, however, it appears Salah has not sustained anything serious as he carried on for a bit after receiving treatment, before being taken off as a precaution.
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