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Albion defender chases World Cup dream
ALBION defender Adam El-Abd is in line to boost his World Cup claims.
El-Abd is expected to make his first competitive start for Egypt in their final qualifying group match at home to Guinea tonight (6pm).
Centre-back rivals Ahmed Hegazy and Wael Gomaa are both sidelined from the Pharaohs’ team.
Long-serving El-Abd, below, yet to feature for Albion in the Championship this season after agreeing a new two-year contract, is now poised for valuable game time.
Fiorentina’s Hegazy has been ruled out for up to six months by a recurrence of knee trouble.
Bob Bradley, Egypt’s American coach, has also left out Gomaa to avoid the risk of another booking which would see him suspended from the first leg of the play-offs.
Egypt have already won Group G and the result against Guinea is immaterial to their hopes of qualifying for the finals in Brazil next summer.
They will face Algeria, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Ghana or Nigeria over two legs in October and November to reach Rio after results elsewhere wrecked their hopes of being seeded and meeting easier opposition.
Egypt will find out their opponents when the draw is made in Cairo next Monday.
Albion also have skipper Gordon Greer (Scotland), Andrew Crofts (Wales) and Vitalijs Maksimenko (Latvia) on World Cup qualifying duty tonight, although none of their countries have a chance of qualifying for Brazil.
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