Egypt head coach Hossam El-Badry has admitted that it would be tough facing Nigeria and the other teams in Group D.
The seven-time African champions have been drawn alongside Nigeria, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau for the continental showpiece.
The Super Eagles and the Pharaohs are considered favourites to qualify from the group but El-Badry has sounded a note of warning to his players ahead of the tournament.
“Our group was quite balanced and not easy due to the improvement of all these teams, who also have great players,” El-Badry was quoted by Kingfut.com.
“I have great confidence in God and in the capabilities the players to overcome this group and perform well to satisfy the aspirations of the Egyptian fans.
“The coaching staff and I are thinking about each stage separately. Currently we are only focusing on the team’s journey in the World Cup qualifiers to achieve our target to qualify for the finals, as we already reached our first target, which was to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.
“All the parties involved in the national team, starting with the president of the federation, Ahmed Megahed and members of its normalization committee, passing through the players and members of the technical, administrative and medical staff, bear a great responsibility in satisfying the fans and fulfilling their aspirations to be present in the World Cup.
“This would be a great honor for everyone who contributes to this great achievement. I ask everyone to continue to support the national team in this difficult and exceptional period that Egyptian football is going through,” he concluded.
Egypt will open their campaign against Nigeria at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium, Garoua on January 11.
The last time both sides met in AFCON was in Angola in 2010. It was also a group opener — the Pharaohs triumphed 3-1 over Nigeria, and went on to win the trophy for the third consecutive time.
The 33rd edition of the biennial showpiece will take place between January 9 2022 and February 6 2022 across five cities in Cameroon.