Egypt travel to Nigeria for the third African Cup of Nations qualification group game on Friday, with both Alex Iwobi and Mohamed Elneny of Arsenal set to take part, and they are set to meet again four days later.
The young winger has recently emerged into the Gunners first-team, and despite falling foul of food poisoning this week, has recovered well in good time, and is ready to make his competitive debut.
England are reported to have asked Iwobi to return to the England set-up, having featured for the England Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 sides previously, before switching to play for his country of birth last year in two friendlies.
Should the 19 year-old participate as expected, he will be unavailable to return to play for England in the future, having only featured in friendlies previously.
He will be set to play alongside a number of fellow Premier League stars, including Chelsea’s Jon Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, and Odion Ighalo, all oh whom were overlooked to start in their previous 0-0 draw with Tanzania.
Egypt come into the tie on top of the group, having won their two previous ties with Chad and Tanzania comfortable, scoring eight and conceding one, while Iwobi’s new side come into the tie without having let in a single goal.
The tie looks set to be an exciting one, with a number of attacking players, and despite the Pharaohs coming in with an 100% record so far, the home side look the stronger on paper.
Ighalo and Iwobi come into the match with great form and confidence, and that can drive their side to leapfrog their rivals to the top of the table.
Elneny recently opened his goalscoring account for Arsenal against Barcelona, but I don’t expect him to get on the scoresheet this week, although I do expect his side to bag themselves a goal.
There is limited markets open on the tie currently, but I’m predicting a 2-1 or 3-1 win for the Super Eagles, and if Ighalo starts as he deserves, a bet on him to get the first goal should be worth a punt also.