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KingFut’s Recommended Fixtures of the Week – Clash of Swiss Pharaohs, Treika’s farewell & more
Back to various league matches after an exciting final round of the UEFA Champions League group stage. With mid-season and the winter ‘break’ approaching, teams from across Europe will be looking to finish strong before January. For Egyptian fans, this week is a very special one; and for Abou-Treika, it is one of the most important weeks of his career as he will be playing his final tournament: the FIFA Club World Cup.
Man City will be trying to benefit from playing at home to win this massive clash which will be another huge test for Arsenal who will be looking to continue its journey towards the title. City achieved an impressive away victory against Bayern Munchen in the UEFA Champions League, which will of course give them great confidence ahead of Saturday’s clash. On the other hand, Arsenal will try to forget their last match – a loss against Napoli – which made them finish second in Group F of the UEFA Champions League. As a result, Arsenal have to face a top class team in the round of 16. Nevertheless, the Gunners have a chance to widen the difference between them and Man City to nine points this weekend if they can manage a win at the Etihad Stadium.
Al Ahly vs. Guangzhou Evergrande – FIFA Club World Cup – 18:00 Cairo time
It is a dream of every football player in Egypt to play against a team like Bayern Munchen in an official match. Al Ahly players have that chance but they have to beat the Chinese dragons Guangzhou Evergrande first. Evergrande are not an easy team as some people may think, it is a team which is full of talented and quick players under the management of the well known Italian manager Marcello Lippi. It is the first time for Al Ahly to play at the Club World Cup on Arabic soil and Red Devils of Egypt will hope to benefit from the support of the Moroccan fans to achieve a good result in this tournament. It is an important match for Abou-Treika to finish his career in the way he wanted – by playing against Bayern Munchen – if he can lead his team to victory over the AFC Champions.
Hull City vs. Stoke City – English Premier League – 19:30 Cairo time
Egyptian fans will hope to see Gedo back in action in the English Premier League. Gedo, who arrived this summer on loan, hasn’t impressed Steve Bruce enough since returning from injury so far – as he’s yet to make a start for the Tigers. Gedo will need to take his chances and replicate his performances of the 2010 African Cup of Nations – where he was the tournament’s top scorer – and even of last season where he scored five goals with the Tigers in the Championship to help them clinch promotion to the EPL. Ahmed Elmohamady has already shown consistent performances with Hull this season and is considered a key player for the Tigers. Elmo was wonderful in the last match against Swansea and was awarded the Man of the Match – we hope that he continue with his recent form.
FC Basel vs. FC Luzern – Swiss Super League – 20:45 Cairo time
The clash of the Pharaohs, and also the clash at the top of the league in Switzerland. Both Salah and Kahraba have scored four goals this season in the Swiss Super League which is not a bad return for both, especially Kahraba as it’s only his first season with Luzern. Basel will try to overcome their disappointment after leaving the UEFA Champions League in controversial fashion, and they will hope to maintain their position at the top of the table. It will be an enjoyable match for the Egyptian fans – regardless of the result – as they have the prospect of watching three Egyptian players on the pitch at once.
Tottenham vs. Liverpool – English Premier League – 18:00 Cairo time
Spurs, who have had a disappointing start to the season compared to what most expected after the massive talent bought in this summer, will try to get into Champions League positions by beating Liverpool – who are occupying the second place of the table. Liverpool are performing extremely well this season compared to recent seasons and they will try to get even closer to the top of the table with the help of Suarez – who is proving to be one of the world’s best – although they will be without Sturridge and Gerrard for the trip to White Hart Lane.
Rio Ave vs. Porto – Portuguese League – 22:15 Cairo time
Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ will be aiming to return back to last season’s form when he was the top scorer of his team. Koka has only scored once this season from the spot and he will be looking for his second goal when his team face Portuguese giants Porto, who are currently second place in the table. A good performance in such matches shall build a good reputation for Koka, who is considered as the future striker of Egypt.
Napoli vs. Inter – Serie A – 22:45 Cairo time
Napoli, who had terrible luck in the UEFA Champions League after they failed to advance past the group stage with 12 points from the ‘Group of Death’, will be aiming for another try next season but they first have to maintain, at least, their third position of the table. They face Inter Milan who currently occupy the fourth position and will be trying to get the three points to decrease the difference between the two side to one point.
Milan vs. Roma – Serie A – 22:45 Cairo time
Despite the poor results of Milan this season in Serie A, they are the only Italian team to survive the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. It will give them a bit of confidence to climb the table towards the top positions, which are the only suitable spots for the fans of Milan. Roma is enjoying a good season till now, and they will be searching for the three points to keep the pressure on Juventus for the title, which Roma last won in 2001.
TBD vs. Bayern Munchen – FIFA Club World Cup – 21:30 Cairo time
Most African football fans will hope that Al Ahly will be the team to face Bayern in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup. If it happens, it will be a memorable match for the Ahly fans and players as it will be the first time for an Egyptian Ccub to face a European club in an official match.