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Cairo Derby: Zamalek vs Al Ahly in numbers

Posted on January 29, 2015

amr-gamal-ahly-zamalek-egyptian-super-cupWith the top two teams in Egypt meeting for the first time this season, KingFut decided to take a look at both sides’ numbers for the season; statistics are powered by TalataBont.

An Introduction to the Stats:

Goals/G = Goals per Game

Shots/G = Shots per Game

Expected Goals = Goals expected from shot locations (probability of scoring a shot)

Average Shot Quality = Expected Goal/ Shot for a player. A metric that measures how dangerous a single players’ shots are using his shot locations. High number means good/dangerous shot locations

Shooting % = Shot Accuracy. Shots on Target/ Total Shots

NPG90 = Non Penalty Goals per 90 minutes

A90 = Assists per 90 minutes

Underlying Statistics:

Zamalek have a + 19 Goal Difference in 17  (1.1/G) games while have a +13 in 16 games (0.8/G)


Zamalek vs Al Ahly

Goals/ G (*1.7 – 1.6): Zamalek edge

Shots/ G (13.5 – *15.7): Al Ahly edge

Shots on Target/G ( 4.8 – *6.3): Al Ahly edge

Expected Goals/ G (1.4 – *1.5): Al Ahly edge

Zamalek have taken 130 shots inside the box from a total of 230 (56%)

Al Ahly have taken 128 shots inside the box from a total of 236 (55%)

Despite scoring less, Al Ahly have the more vibrant attack. They created more shots on target and in much more dangerous situations. Zamalek’s attack comes a close second though in terms of Expected Goals, with the gap being miniscule.


Goals Against/G (*0.5 – 0.8): Zamalek edge

Shots Against/G (*8.8 – 9.9): Zamalek edge

Shots on Target Against/ G (*2.8 – 4): Zamalek edge

Expected Goals Against/ G (*0.71 – 0.87): Zamalek edge

Here is where the two teams really start diverging. While Al Ahly’s attack is better, Zamalek’s is still good. On the defensive side though, Zamalek are by far the best team in the league in every category, while Al Ahly rank between 4th and 7th in most metrics. This is showcased in Goals Against/G as Zamalek have only conceded 9 goals all year.

Al Ahly have given up 70 shots inside the box from 150 shots overall (46 %)

Zamalek have given up 60 shots inside the box from 150 shots overall (40%)


According to TalataBont’s Team Ratings which take into account all of the above, Zamalek rank as the #2 offence, #1 defence, and #1 overall team. Al Ahly rank #1 offence, #5 defence, #2 overall team.



Despite four wins in their last five games, Zamalek’s underlying statistics have really fallen off since the ENPPI loss. We wrote at KingFut at how they had been the most impressive team through 6 games in October, but all has changed since the ENPPI loss.

Before the ENPPI game :

Zamalek Shots For/ Game: 14.2 (3rd best)

Zamalek Shots Against/ Game: 7.6 (Best)

After the ENPPI game:

Zamalek Shots for/ Game: 11 (9th best)

Zamalek Shots Against/ Game: 12.5 (6th worst)

Zamalek have turned from a team that dominates the shots battle into a below average team, especially defensively. Some of this is due to coming up against ENPPI, some may be losing Mo’men Zakaria, and a lot may be losing Pacheco. From the beginning of the season until the ENPPI game, they were never outshot in a match, since then they have been outshot in three out of their last four.

Al Ahly

Al Ahly have dropped 4 points in their last 5 games, tying with a tough Al Masry team and an average Petrojet team. They’ve bounced back well since losing to Ittihad of Alexandria, beating a dangerous Tala’a El-Gaish team handily and a very tough Misr El- team as well. Their stats have stayed the same over the last couple of weeks, although their defence has improved slightly.

Key Players

Al Ahly

Emad Meteb leads Al Ahly with 7 Non-Penalty Goals. His scoring rate of 0.86 NPG90 (Non-penalty goals per 90) is also second best in the league (scores a goal every 106 minutes), in addition to 2 assists. Meteb takes 3.8 shots a game, 2 of which are on target. His shooting percentage is 53%, average shot quality (percent chance of a shot getting scored) is 12 %, making it above average for a striker. Meteb is responsible for 17 % of Al Ahly Expected Goals, highest rate in his team. Shutting him down will be key for the Whites.

Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ leads Al Ahly with six assists. The youngster’s assist rate of 0.43 (assist every 210 minutes) is 10th best in the league. He is a mainstay for Al Ahly this season, playing 1262 minutes , second highest in the team. Trezeguet has taken 40 shots for Al Ahly, highest for any player, 19 of which have been on target, highest again in his team. He takes 2.85 shots/G, and has scored 2 goals. Trezeguet is the most fouled player on Al Ahly, and is responsible for 16% of all their shots.

Despite being suspended, Hussein El-Sayed is our 3rd key player. He has made the left-back spot his very quickly since his move from Misr El-Maqassa in the summer. In exactly 9 games, he has 1 goal and 1 assist, good stats for a member of the defence. More importantly, he has made the Al Ahly defence a lot better when he is in the side due to his work-rate and tenacity.  Al Ahly have given up 4 goals only in his 9 games (0.4/G) as opposed to 9 goals in the 7 games he hasn’t played (1.3/G). Because of his suspension last game, his absence will be very problematic for Al Ahly.


Basem Morsi leads Zamalek currently with 4 Non-Penalty Goals, in addition to having two assists in 805 minutes. Without Khaled Kamar (29 shots) and Moamen Zakaria (42 shots), the responsibility will fall on Bassem to lead Zamalek against Al Ahly’s weak point: central defence. He takes 2.9 shots/G with an average shot quality of 10% (league average). Morsi’s shooting accuracy is 38% and is responsible for 15 % of Zamalek’s shots.

Ayman Hefny has looked like a different player ever since he replaced Moamen Zakaria in the Zamalek starting line-up. He leads the league in assists (7) and assists per 90 (0.76/ assist every 117 minutes). Hefny only takes 1.4 shots/G, but has been a central of creativity lately for Zamalek.

Ahmed Ali is our third key player, despite producing far less than Ahmed Eid.  Eid has 1 goal and 5 assists, but with Kamar and Zakaria out, Ali may have to play a bigger role. Ali has 2 goals in 360 minutes (or 4 matches exactly). He shoots 2.8 times a game, second highest in the Zamalek team. Furthermore, Ali is the most dangerous Zamalek striker, with all of his shots coming from dangerous positions as he racks up 0.5 Expected Goal/G, the best metric to predict goalscoring. His shooting % is 55 and his average shot quality is 17%, which leads the league for strikers. Nine of his 11 shots have come from the danger zone (centre of the penalty area).

Match Odds

TalataBont have a model for creating odds for every match by incorporating all the above statistics and simulating the match 500,000 times to see what the most likely outcomes are.

Ahl-Zam odds

Zamalek are favorites with a 40% chance of winning compared to Al Ahly 31%.


With Zamalek looking superior statistically and leading by 8 points (Al Ahly have a game in hand), a win is much more crucial for Al Ahly to get back into the title race. In fact, using the match odds generated above for the rest of the fixtures and then simulating the season 500,000 more times, we can come up with the impact of the match on title %

If Zamalek vs Ahly ends in a draw :

Title if AHL D ZAM

Ahly win the league only 10 % of the time if they draw tomorrow, a dangerously low number.

If Zamalek win:

TItle it ZAM>AHL

A win for Zamalek would be huge. It would take them from 85% to win the title to 92%, while dropping Al Ahly from 10% to 5%. A win almost ends all chances of a Red title, so this match is extra important for Al Ahly.

If Al Ahly are able to win:

Title if AHL>ZAM They force themselves (slightly) back into the title race. Zamalek drop to 77% , Al Ahly rise to 17%.


Despite the model liking Zamalek more because of their tough defence, Zamalek’s poor recent form, managerial troubles and suspensions and transfers out make this match much closer than it should have been. Back in October, the predicition skewed towards Zamalek winning the league if they avoid upheaval, which they’ve done a bad job of doing. Al Ahly – being desperate for points to keep the title race alive – sees them grab a point off the favourite, which will probably not be enough to get them back in the title race!

My (personal) prediction: 1-1

Follow @TalataBont for more statistics throughout the day


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