Prolific Liverpool scorer and Egypt captain Mohamed Salah will be among the stars in action this week when 2026 World Cup qualifying in Africa kicks off with two matchdays.
Fat Liverpool arranger and Egypt captain Mohamed Salah will be among the stars in action this week when 2026 World Cup qualifying in Africa kicks off with two matchdays. His two Premier League pretensions against Brentford at the weekend raised his aggregate to 200 in English football, and he’s now set to shine against Group A rivals Djibouti and Sierra Leone. Salah was the alternate loftiest ranked African in the Ballond’Or last month behind Napoli and Nigeria forward Victor Osimhen, who misses the first matchdays due to an injury.
Omar Marmoush of Eintracht Frankfurt and Mostafa Mohamed of Nantes are other Egyptians who have been scoring regularly in major European leagues this season.
Djibouti, who face Egypt in Cairo on Thursday, are among the weakest African public brigades and have doubly suffered eight- thing hidings in World Cup qualifiers.
Sierra Leone will be handicapped at having to carry a home institution against Egypt on Sunday in Liberia because they warrant an transnational-standard colosseum.
Egypt have won the Africa Cup of Nations a record seven times, but struggle in World Cup qualifying, reaching the tests only three times, compared with eight appearances by Cameroon.
The strongest challenge to Salah and his teammates could come from Burkina Faso, ranked 10th in Africa, five places below Egypt. Guinea- Bissau and Ethiopia are the other Group A contenders.
Nigeria must do without Osimhen, one of the favourites to win the CAF Footballer of the Year award coming month, and injured AC Milan winger Samuel Chukwueze against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
But Portuguese trainer Jose Peseiro has numerous talented reserves to choose from, including Victor Boniface of Bayer Leverkusen and Taiwo Awoniyi of Nottingham Forest.
There are enterprises, still, about the Super Eagles’ defence with Cyprus- grounded goalkeeper Francis Uzoho coming under fire for his performances in two recent friendly matches.
Zimbabwe are back in transnational football after a FIFA ban for government hindrance averted them contending in 2024 Mug of Nations qualifying.
They’re among 17 African countries who can not play at home either because of sub-standard colosseums or safety enterprises and will host Nigeria in the Rwandan megacity of Butare.
South Africa are considered the biggest pitfalls to Nigeria in Group C, but will attack Benin at home and Rwanda down minus star Lyle Foster.
The Burnley forward and only South African in the Premier League has been sidelined by the rush of a internal health issue.
Former Premier League director Chris Hughton admits he’s under pressure as Ghana trainer ahead of qualifiers at home to Madagascar and down to the Comoros.
“They’re two games we must do well in,” he said amid media calls for his redundancy after a four- thing friendly caching by the United States last month.
Stager Andre’ Dede’ Ayew, who joined Ligue 1 outfit Le Havre last weekend, has been recalled, but an injury rules out another midfielder, Thomas Partey from Arsenal.
Last December in Qatar Morocco came the first World Cup semi-finalists from Africa, but they won’t be involved in matchday one as opponents Eritrea withdrew without an explanation.
So Saudi Arabia- grounded goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, Paris Saint- Germain protector Achraf Hakimi and Sevilla forward Youssef en- Nesyri go into action for the Atlas Lions only coming Tuesday.
Their delinquent entry into qualifying will be down to Tanzania in Group E, which also includes resurgent Zambia, Congo Brazzaville and Niger, who are set to hire Moroccan trainer Badou Zaki.
The nine group winners after 260 qualifiers that stretch to October 2025 qualify for the record 48 nation tests in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
There could be a 10th African qualifier as the stylish four runners- up enter a mini-tournament and the winners advance to inter-continental play- offs with two tests places up for heists. Know More Latest Football News…