The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations starts in Egypt on Friday night, and the hosts face Zimbabwe (Eursport, kick-off: 21:00 BST).
FIFA world rankings have 51 places between these two contesting the AFCON opener, so the Pharaohs are expected to lay down a marker.
Egypt start long odds-on favourites to beat Zimbabwe, because of their excellent record when hosting the tournament.
The Pharaohs went on to lift the trophy on three of four previous occasions AFCON was in their own backyard.
With dual Premier League Golden Boot winner Mo Salah in their ranks, Egypt are well-fancied to go all the way again.
They warmed up for Zimbabwe with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Guinea in their final pre-tournament friendly.
As Egypt easily brushed aside opposition ranked just 13 places below them, the opening match of should be straightforward.
Salah a proven threat for Egypt
Liverpool star Salah only played half an hour against Guinea, so he’s relatively fresh. Any remnants of the Zimbabwe side that last faced the Pharaohs won’t relish facing him again, however.
Salah ran riot in Harare when hitting a hat-trick back in 2013. That was a 4-2 win for Egypt and he’s odds-on to score again anytime.
A better value bet instead is combining a Pharaohs victory with the total goals market. Odds of 11/10 with Betway say Egypt can beat Zimbabwe with over 2.5 goals in the game.
Given Salah is a proven threat against this opposition and the Pharaohs’ last game had four goals in it, this looks a good shout.
Zimbabwe playing in front of a partisan Egyptian crowd will find this tough. It looks beyond them and the Pharaohs can get their AFCON finals campaign off to the perfect start.
Side with Egypt because they have a perfect four wins from as many fixtures. Three of those victories had three or more goals in them.
Bet of the Day: 11/10 with Betway, Egypt beat Zimbabwe and over 2.5 goals in the game.