Egypt line up three friendly games ahead of Nigeria clashes
The Pharaohs will face Burkina Faso twice on January 24 and 28 in Cairo, while the third game will be played in February against Romania or Uzbekistan as the specific opponents are not yet determined.
Egypt will face Nigeria twice on March 23 and 27 respectively in the Nations Cup qualifiers.
The seven-time African champions, who missed the last three editions of the Nations Cup, are at the top of their group with six points with two ahead of the second placed Nigeria.
The Super Eagles, three-time winners, will challenge the Pharaohs, record seven-time winners, for a ticket to play at Gabon 2017.
The winners of each of the 13 groups will pick automatic qualifying tickets, while the two best second-placed teams would join the train to Gabon.
Notwithstanding their illustrious credentials, both Nigeria and Egypt failed to qualify for the 2015 tournament held in Equatorial Guinea, with Egypt’s last showing being at Angola 2010 where they won their record-extending seventh title.
Both countries have had mixed fortunes internationally over the years. Nigeria have played at five World Cups and reached the round of 16 twice in USA 1994 and Brazil last year.
On the contrary, Egypt have not qualified for the World Cup since playing at Italia ‘90 even though they have enjoyed more success than any other team in the continental showpiece, winning three titles successively between 2006 and 2010.
The other teams in the group, Tanzania and Chad, will be expected to make up the numbers.