The final 23-man squad has been named and the dust has settled surrounding whatever controversies it created.
Though Egypt has one World Cup warm-up left to play, Wednesday vs. Belgium, we already have a pretty good idea of how they’ll lineup for their first FIFA World Cup finals appearance in 28 years, baring any further injuries or unforeseen events.
The illustrations that follow show projected lineups in certain situations, including probable substitutes.
Projected starting lineup if Salah is available
Projected starting lineup if Salah is unavailable
Sample late-match set-up while defending a lead or draw, after all 3 subs are made. You could see Egypt in this shape and personnel grouping often if things are going their way.
The prognostications shown are not a big surprise, nor are they much of a departure from the norm under manager Hector Cuper.
They should, however, at least offer some clues as to which names my replace starters at any given position should the need arise.
The defensive shape shown in the final graphic illustrates Cuper’s propensity to get everyone behind the ball when the team is in shut-down mode. He’ll typically place two blocks of four stacked on top of one another with his two best attacking options side-by-side near the midfield stripe, contributing to the zone defending set-up while waiting for any counter-attacking opportunity that arises in what is an ultra defensive 4-4-2.
The clock is ticking at an exciting, though nerve-racking pace, and we’ll soon find out just how effective Cuper’s plans were.
As always, don’t forget to check us out on Twitter- @PharaohsXI – for unique and compelling coverage of Egypt’s national football team.