Hosts Egypt play Zimbabwe in the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday – the first run through the competition has been held in Europe’s late spring.

Egypt were just granted the challenge in January after it was detracted from unique hosts Cameroon on account of security and readiness concerns.

The Pharaohs have won the challenge multiple times – yet not since 2010 – and lost to Cameroon in the 2017 last.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is the best-known player in the Egypt squad.

There are additionally three other England-based players in their squad – Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, West Brom safeguard Ahmed Hegazi and Aston Villa protector Ahmed Elmohamady, who skippers the side.

“Salah is currently one of the main three players on the planet,” said Elmohamady. “This is an exceptionally enormous and positive thing that will help us in our journey to win the Nations Cup.”

The match will be held at the Cairo International Stadium, which has once in a while been utilized in the course of the most recent eight years in light of security concerns.

This will be the fifth time Egypt have facilitated the challenge, having won it on three of the past four events – in 1959, 1986 and 2006 – and coming third in 1974.

Zimbabwe are playing in the competition for a fourth time yet have never made it past the gathering stage and completed base of their area in 2017, neglecting to win a game.

Their squad incorporates Nottingham Forest safeguard Tendayi Darikwa and Alec Mudimu, who plays for Welsh Premier League side Cefn Druids.

The competition is typically held in January and February, causing questions with European clubs who needed to discharge players amidst the season. In any case, in July 2017 the Confederation of African Football chose the competition would be played in June and July this year.

It likewise expanded the competition from 16 to 24 groups, in a comparable configuration to Euro 2016, with the best four third-set groups from the six gatherings additionally going into the last 16.

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