After their bruised ego in their opening Group D match in which they were lucky to be beaten by just one goal by a more adventurous Nigerian side, Egypt will hope to regain their esteem facing the least rated side of Group B, Guinea Bissau.
The latter who missed a late penalty in their goalless draw with Sudan will be ruing the miss as they know they have a huge mountain to climb facing one of Africa’s most formidable team.
Both teams will play at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua after the Nigeria versus Sudan encounter. The game holds at 19:00 GMT.
For Guinea Bissau, this may just be the biggest game ever. They have never faced Egypt before, making the Saturday match a special encounter for the team that is participating in the tournament for the third time in a row.
After they missed the opportunity to beat Sudan and share the top spot, Guinea-Bissau seeks to create a historic surprise and beat record holders Egypt to enhance their chances of reaching the next round.
Their Assistant coach, Emiliano Te is optimistic that Guinea Bissau can scrape at least a point from this match.
“We are working to develop ourselves, and we have started training and preparing for the Egypt match. They have strong players and a cohesive team, and we have experienced players who want to win.
“We have a lot of absences, but we will deal with it. Mohamed Salah is one of the best players in the world, and Egypt has more than one professional player. We will face all of them, not just Salah.”
His determination is shared by midfielder, Frederic Mendy . “We are well prepared and know what we have at stake. We will face Egypt strongly and work to maintain our chances of qualifying.
“Missing a penalty is not a problem, and we missed many chances against Sudan. We will not stop there because we want to represent our country well, and we did not discuss much about wasting the penalty kick.”
But the Egyptians are not just lying low and taking things for granted. They are seeking an important victory over Guinea-Bissau on Saturday in order to achieve their first three points that revive their hopes in the tournament.
Their loss as well as poor performance in Tuesday match against Nigeria angered many supporters of the Egyptian team.
Led by the English Premier League stars Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Elneny and Mahmoud Hassan “Trezeguet”, the Pharaohs will be the favorites to win on Saturday and restore hope of completing the campaign for the eighth title in their history.
Their Portuguese coach, Carlos Queiroz attaches great importance to the match. Hear him: “Every match is important, and tomorrow (Saturday) we will try to improve our performance.
“We will face a good team and of course we respect them a lot because everyone is improving. We want to play a different game, and I have confidence in my players who played last game.
“Mohamed Salah is a player in our team, we win or lose together, and we all share the responsibility. For me the most important is the team and I promise to see a different performance in the second match.”