Thoughts on England and Egypt squads for midweek friendly


Goalkeepers: James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham), Hart (Birmingham)

Defenders: Brown (Man Utd), Terry (Chelsea), Upson (West Ham), Lescott (Man City), Shawcross (Stoke), Baines (Everton), Warnock (Aston Villa)

Midfielders: Milner (Aston Villa), Beckham (AC Milan), Walcott (Arsenal), Lampard (Chelsea), Barry (Man City), Gerrard (Liverpool), Carrick (Man Utd), Wright-Phillips (Man City), Downing (Aston Villa)

Forwards: Heskey (Aston Villa), Defoe (Tottenham), Rooney (Man Utd), Crouch (Tottenham), C Cole (West Ham)

This is a mixed bag, with obvious problems in defence and between the sticks.

The midfield looks solid, with three established players (Gerrard, Lampard and Barry) leaving a gap for one contender to stake a claim. No Joe Cole though, which is a worry. He needs more games.

Rooney will probably sit this one out, giving Capello the chance to have another look at possible strikers to play alongside the Manchester Utd man or Defoe at the World Cup.


Goalkeepers: Essam Al Hadari (Ismaili), Abdelwahed Al Sayed (Zamalek), Mahmoud Aboulsaoud (Mansoura)

Defenders: Mohamed Abdelshafi (Zamalek), Ahmed Al Muhammadi (ENPPI), Abdelzaher Al Saqqa (Eskisehirspor), Mahmoud Fathallah (Zamalek), Ahmed Fathi, Wael Gomaa, Sayed Moawad (all Al Ahli), Hani Said (Zamalek), Moatasem Salem (Ismaili)

Midfielders: Hosni Abd Rabou (Al Ahli), Mohamed Aboutrika (Al Ahli), Hossam Ghali (Al Nasr), Ahmed Hassan (Al Ahli), Mahmoud Shikabala (Zamalek), Abdelaziz Tawfiq (ENPPI)

Forwards: Ahmed Eid (Haras Hodoud), Sayed Hamdi (Petrojet), Emad Motaeb (Al Ahli), Mohamed Nagui (Ittihad), Ahmed Raouf (ENPPI), Amr Zaki (Hull City), Mohamed Zidan (Borussia Dortmund)

One Premiership player made the squad (Zaki). The Hull City striker is joined by Borussia Dortmund's Mohamed Zidan. Ex-Tottenham midfielder Hossam Ghaly and the rest of the squad are based in Egypt.

A lack of international stars doesn’t seem to have hampered Egypt during the latest defence of their African Nations Cup title. Mohamed Nagui, sometimes known by his nickname of Geddo, is a real attacking threat from the bench. Despite not starting a single game, he scored five of Egypt’s 15 goals during the tournament, including the winner in the final against Ghana.

Midfielder and Captain Ahmed Hassan is expected to claim his 173rd cap. Hassan is currently the third most capped player for any country, behind Mohamed Al-Deayea of Saudi Arabia and Claudio Suarez of Mexico.

The Pharaohs are only one place behind England in the FIFA World Rankings and come to England as three times winners of the African Nations Cup. Forget any notions about this being an easy game.

Egypt also take on Spain in Innsbruck prior to the World Cup, suggesting they are regarded as ideal preparation for a tough tournament.

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