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Maradona backs Egypt to qualify for 2018 World Cup ahead of Ghana

6:18 PM MYT 04/10/2017
Diego Maradona
The global football icon has given his backing to the Pharaohs ahead of the penultimate games of the 2018 World Cup qualifying

Former Argentina captain Diego Maradona says he hopes Egypt qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup holding in Russia.

The Pharaohs are coached by Hector Cuper, who is also Argentine and once played with the Albiceleste like Maradona.

Egypt are leaders of Group E with nine points, two ahead of second-placed Uganda and four clear of Ghana, who sit third.

The North Africans will play host to Congo in the penultimate game of the group on Sunday.

A win for the Pharaohs will mean they have to avoid defeat against Ghana in the last match in November to qualify to their first senior Fifa World Cup tournament since 1990.

“I would like to greet Egyptian fans [ahead of their game against Congo this weekend]. I hope the Egyptian national team can qualify for the World Cup,” Maradona told ON Sport.

“I hope Egyptians can enjoy such a celebration [for the first time since 1990] in peace,” he added.

Ghana, who will be without key players such as Asamoah Gyan, the Ayew brothers and Harrison Afful, are currently camping in Kenya ahead of Saturday’s game against the Cranes.