Egyptian PL 2018/19 fixtures: Ahly clash with Ismaily, Zamalek face Petrojet in opener
Titleholders Al Ahly will host Ismaily for their opening match of the 2018/19 Egyptian Premier League season, while Zamalek will play against Petrojet.
The league draw, which saw the participation of 18 teams, was held at the Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) headquarters on Sunday morning. This season, which is scheduled to kick off on August 1, will witness the participation of Nogoom El Mostakbal in the top flight for the first time ever after securing promotion along with Haras El-Hodood and El Gouna.
Al Ahly receive tough start to season
Al Ahly go into the season under new management after the appointment of Patrice Carteron and the French manager has been handed a testing opening to his career at the helm of the Red Castle.
Titleholders Al Ahly, who will play their games at the Cairo International Stadium, were handed a tough draw as they will host Ismaily in their first game, before playing against Al Masry in gameweek 2. Assiouty Sport, now known as Pyramids FC, who eliminated Al Ahly from the Egypt Cup quarter-final, will face the Red Castle in gameweek 8.
The Cairo derby is set to be held on gameweek 17, with the second game taking place in the final gameweek of the league.
Tricky spell for Zamalek
Zamalek also have a new managerial staff as they have recently appointed Christian Gross as their new coach. Gross took over at the White Castle following a disappointing 2017/18 season, which saw them finish fourth in the league standings. Zamalek will kick off the new campaign against Petrojet and will play Ittihad of Alexandria in their second game.
The White Knights will face Smouha, who finished fifth last season, in gameweek 7 and will face Pyramids FC in gameweek 9. Zamalek will then have two consecutive tough fixtures as they face Ismaily and Al Masry in gameweek 10 and gameweek 11 respectively.
Meanwhile, league runners-up Ismaily will face Smouha in gameweek 8 before they clash with Al Masry in gameweek 12. Al Masry, who earned a third-place finish last season, will kick off their season against newly-promoted El Gouna before clashing with defending champions Al Ahly. They will play Zamalek and Ismaily in gameweek 11 and gameweek 12 before facing Pyramids FC in gameweek 13.
The opening gameweek in full:
Entag El-Harby vs Haras El-Hodood
Nogoom El-Mostakbal vs Tala’a El-Gaish
Misr El-Makassa vs Smouha
Ittihad of Alexandria vs Arab Contractors
Petrojet vs Zamalek
Al Ahly vs Ismaily
El Gouna vs Al Masry
Dakhleya vs Wadi Degla
ENPPI vs Pyramids FC
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