Uganda v Egypt: Warda return won't derail Pharaohs' AFCON bid, says Aguirre
Egypt head coach Javier Aguirre does not believe Amr Warda's reintegration into the squad will have a negative impact on his side's Africa Cup of Nations hopes.
The 25-year-old was suspended earlier this week after social media conversations between him and a number of women were released.
He missed Egypt's Group A win over Congo on Wednesday – a result that confirmed their progression to the knockout stages – but his suspension has been reduced and he will be available after Sunday's clash with Uganda.
Egypt need just a point against Uganda to finish as group winners and Aguirre is confident Warda's return will not derail his side's bid to win the tournament for an eighth time.
"Warda's incident will not affect the fans' support in the upcoming games and I am not afraid that the player will be attacked by the fans against Uganda," Aguirre told a media conference.
"It will not affect the team or our main goal, which is winning our third consecutive game in the competition."
Aguirre insists he is not concerned by who his side could face in the last 16 and revealed he will make changes to the starting XI for the clash against Sebastien Desabre's Uganda.
"We will be making just one or two changes against Uganda," he said. "I don't think about who will we face in the round of 16 as our main focus is to beat Uganda and then we will study our next opponent.
"Uganda is a strong and well-organised team who play with a fighting spirit through the whole 90 minutes. I think it will be a difficult game."
Uganda need just a point to qualify for the last 16 after picking up four points from their opening two games against Congo and Zimbabwe. Desabre, though, insists his side have every intention of playing for all three points.
"We will play for the win to qualify as the group winners," he said. "I know it will be a difficult game for us, but we are ready to face the challenge.
"The fans' presence will be a big boost for Egypt, but this won't prevent us from doing our best to win and achieve a big surprise."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Uganda - Emmanuel Okwi
If Desabre is true to his word and sends his side out to claim maximum points, then expect Okwi to play a vital role. He scored in the opening group win over Congo and could cause problems for Egypt's backline.
Egypt - Mohamed Salah
Aguirre might well shuffle his pack for this game but he is unlikely to rest the talismanic Liverpool forward. Salah opened his account for the tournament in the midweek win over Congo and do not bet against him adding to that tally against Uganda.
KEY OPTA FACTS
- Uganda have lost their four games against Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations. They are the team Egypt have faced the most in the tournament with a 100 per cent win percentage (4/4).
- Uganda have lost their four games against the host nation in the Africa Cup of Nations, including one against Egypt in 1974.
- Uganda are unbeaten in their last three games in the Africa Cup of Nations (W1 D2), their longest such run ever in the tournament, after losing 14 of their first 18 (W3 D1).
- Egypt are unbeaten in their last 15 group-stage games in the Africa Cup of Nations (W11 D4).