Afcon 2017: Egypt’s Zidan welcomes double schedule against Ghana and Uganda

Egypt forward Mohamed Zidan has expressed satisfaction at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations draw which paired the North Africans against 2018 World Cup qualifying opponents Ghana and Uganda.

The draw, vis-à-vis the 2018 World Cup schedule, means the three sides would have faced each other before the Nations Cup kicks off in January 2017.

This, the 34-year-old former Borussia Dortmund striker says will boost his side’s confidence.

According to him, the Egyptians who are returning to the continental competition after a 7-year absence stand in pole position to beat the Black Stars when they host them in the Russia 2018 qualifiers later in November.

“Our current national team is gaining experience gradually. A win against Ghana in the World Cup Qualifiers is easy and important to widen the gap to five points, Zidan told DMC sports channel.

“Falling in the same group as Ghana and Uganda is beneficial to us. Beating them in the World Cup Qualifiers will earn the players more confidence to beat them again in the AFCON.”

Zidan describes Mali which completes Group D of the 2017 Nations Cup a “strong team” but believes the new Pharaohs are in for a great tournament.

“This generation of Egyptian footballers went through a lot of obstacles like the absence of the fans from Stadiums. However, we passed all these difficulties and the next period will be a great one for Egyptian football,” he added.