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Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Preview: Zamalek look for much-needed consistency ahead of African clash

Ahram Online , Wednesday 14 Jun 2017
Zamalek players celebrate after scoring against USM Alger during the African Champions League (CAF) group stage football match between Zamalek and USM Alger at the Borg el-Arab Stadium, near Alexandria, on June 2, 2017 (AFP)
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Zamalek will be looking for a much-needed consistency when they face relegation-threatened side Aswan in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday as they prepare for a much more important African Champions League clash in midweek.

Although the White Knights have notably improved of late under Portuguese coach Inacio Augusto, having won their last three league matches, their fans are still worried over some unconvincing displays.

They needed a stoppage-time goal to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to USM Alger in Champions League Group B early this month and will be desperate to avoid any stumble in the away clash against the Algerians next week.

Zamalek still top their group with five points from a win and two draws, one ahead of USM and Libya's Ahli Tripoli.

With arch rivals Ahly winning the domestic league title with four matches to spare last month and second-place Maqassa ensuring they would finish in the last Champions League berth, Zamalek's only target is to cement their third place to qualify for the Confederation Cup, Africa's secondary club competition.

They are three points ahead of Masry and six clear of Smouha, although they are likely to be deducted three points at the end of the season for withdrawing from a league game against Maqassa in April.

Inacio said he will have to find a solution to Zamalek's profligacy after they wasted some easy goal-scoring chances in the draw with USM Alger.

"We are still suffering from wasting easy scoring chances, but we will work hard in the coming period to overcome this issue," said the former Sporting Lisbon coach.

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