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Egyptian Premier League

Cairo Derby Preview: Zamalek vs. Al Ahly

ahly-vs-zamalek will host their local rivals Al Ahly behind closed doors at the Air Defense Stadium in the 109th league on Thursday the 29th of January, 6:00PM CLT. 

Al Ahly managed to defeat Zamalek 1-0 the last time the teams faced each other in the league, courtesy of an own-goal scored by Zamalek midfielder Ahmed Tawfik.

Mohamed Salah will be looking to keep his winning streak with Zamalek in his fourth game as the first team manager, while Juan Carlos Garrido will be hoping for three points to lift his team up the table. Zamalek’s last win over Al Ahly was on the 21st of May 2007 with goals from Tamer Abdel-Hamid and Gamal Hamza. Since then however, Zamalek have  failed to beat Al Ahly in 19 encounters in all competitions, with eight of those ending as draws.

Garrido will fancy proving his worth as the manager of Al Ahly and will look to defeat the Whites for a second time after his Egyptian Super Cup victory, which was taken to penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw between the 2 teams in regular and extra time.

Recent Form:

Zamalek: W-W-W-L-W.

Al Ahly: W-D-D-W-W.

Zamalek head into the game as hosts sitting on the top of the table with 40 points from 17 games.  The club has been quite unstable, after the departure of head coach Jamie Pacheco to Saudi side Al Shabab and midfielder Momen Zakaria’s departure to Al Ahly. The club are yet to find a coach and Mohamed Salah will be taking charge of the team as he has in their past 3 games the last being a cup victory over Nogoom Al-Mostakbal. Salah will be depending a lot on Ahmed Eid and Ayman Hefny to create the chances as they have recently done in the games he took charge of.

Al Ahly’s coach, Juan Carlos Garrido, will have to work to strengthen his attack as the team has been lacking in front of the goal recently. With a scrappy win over Tala’a El-Gaish and two draws against Petrojet and Al Masry, the team has been under-performing in recent times and it could cost them in this game. Al Ahly hasn’t been compact enough and have been prone to counter-attacks which cause chaos at the back. However, Emad Meteb has been back to scoring goals for the team to lead them forward.

Key Players:

Zamalek: Ayman Hefny

Sitting at the top of the Most Assists Table this season, alongside, Hossam Arafat and Salah Ashour, Hefny has been phenomenal for his team. Hefny’s dribbling skills has managed to award the team a lot of great chances from set play in dangerous positions. Ayman Hefny has had 13 attempts on goal, six of which were on target, but only one has reached the back of the net. Hefny will cause havoc in Al Ahly’s defense should they give him space to move freely.

Al Ahly: Mahmoud Hassan “Trezeguet”

The 22-year-old midfielder will be very influential in the game. He recently put in great individual performances on both wings. He has been the player to provide assists to his teammates with six to his name. He has managed to score twice from 40 shots, from which only 19 were on target. Apart from his weak teamwork abilities, he has been able to show great ball control and can be a headache to Zamalek’s midfield.

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