London 2012: Egypt U-23 team braces for hard fight against Brazil in opener
Egypt's U-23 assistant coach Tarek El-Said on Tuesday said his team would have to put up a fierce fight to win their Olympic Group-C opener against gold medal favourites Brazil.
Both sides will lock horns at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Thursday, where Egypt is looking to cause an upset in their first Olympic appearance in 20 years.
"We should clinch a positive result against Brazil. This match will be pivotal to our qualification for the second round," El-Said, a former Ahly and Zamalek winger, told Ahram Online.
"We know that our mission against Brazil will be tough, especially that the Brazilian team is very strong," he added. "But the technical staff has been monitoring them, and we're preparing a suitable strategy to employ against them.''
The Brazil squad includes several high-profile stars, such as Neymar, Thiago Silva, Hulk and Alexandre Pato.
El-Said said the three over-age players in Egypt's squad – Ahly trio Mohamed Abou-Treika, Ahmed Fathi and Emad Meteb – are not certain to be included in the starting line-up for the Group-C games.
"The participation of the over-age trio in the team's starting line-up remains uncertain," said El-Said. "It will depend on the technical staff's opinion. They may start on the bench.''
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