22 June 2019
A match between Egypt and Zimbabwe that will take place at the Cairo International Stadium will open the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
After a slow start to 2019 that has seen them play out a 1-1 draw with Niger and suffer a 1-0 loss to Nigeria, the Pharaohs have started to raise their form ahead of the final tournament. They have won both of their warm-up games over the past ten days, beating Tanzania 1-0 and Guinea 3-1. Also, the Egyptians have enjoyed an almost perfect qualifying campaign, finishing second in their respective qualifying group with a +11 goal difference (W4, D1, L1). Notably, all four of Egypt’s wins in the qualifiers have seen them score over 1.5 match goals, with Javier Aguirre’s men finding the back of the net in the first half on all four occasions.
Meanwhile, although they finished top of their respective qualifying group, Zimbabwe’s road to the final tournament was a rough one (W3, D2, L1). Interestingly, all three of their wins during the qualifiers have seen them score 2+ match goals while both of their draws ended with the same 1-1 scoreline. The Warriors go into this fixture after playing out back-to-back draws with Nigeria and Tanzania, with both of those matches featuring under 2.5 goals. Still, it will be a daunting prospect for Zimbabwe to pick up some points here, as they’ve suffered four defeats in as many H2H meetings with Egypt in the 21st century.
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