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Egypt's Ahly v Zamalek: Cairo derby key players

Ghaly, El-Said and Sobhi versus Kahraba, Hefni and Fathi. Who will make the difference?

Omar Zaazou , Tuesday 9 Feb 2016
Cairo derby key players
Zamalek key trio: (from L to R) Mahmoud Kahraba, Mostafa Fathi, Ayman Hefni Ahly key trio: (from L to R) Hossam Ghaly, Ramadan Sobhi, Abdallah El-Said (Photos: Ahram)
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Ahram Online takes a look at three key Ahly and Zamalek players expected to influence the result of the upcoming Cairo derby on Tuesday. 

Ahly key trio:

Abdallah El-Said: The Ahly man provides a variety of options for manager Abdel-Aziz “Zizo” Abdel-Shafi in midfield, being capable of playing as a deep-lying playmaker as well as a no. 10.

A talented midfielder, El-Said is renowned for his accurate passes and long-range strikes from outside the area, as well as being a set-piece specialist.

Having been in outstanding form of late, he is arguably Ahly's most influential attacker, epitomised by his current status as the Reds' top-scorer with a five-goal tally this season.

Hossam Ghaly: The Ahly anchorman was the Man Of The Match in his side's last meeting with Zamalek; a 3-2 Egypt Super Cup victory ahead of the season.

The ex-Tottenham man is quite capable of dictating play and controlling the tempo of the game with his ability to knock balls out wide and feed the team's attackers with quick long-range passes.

He has been voted Egypt’s domestic-based player of the year in 2015 after a remarkable performance with the Red Devils despite losing the double (league-cup) to their arch-rivals Zamalek.

At 34, Ghaly seems in one of his best forms ever.

Ramadan Sobhi: Talented, capable of drifting inside from wide positions and causing the opposition all sorts of problems, Sobhi could be a major asset for Ahly against their arch-rivals.

The 18-year-old has been criticised for his unnecessary showboating in previous games against Zamalek, but with his pace and dribbling skills he is likely to be a major threat down the flank.

Zamalek key trio:

Mostafa Fathi: the Zamalek prodigy has deservedly earned the status of a super-sub, following some crucial second-half goals which proved vital for his side following his introduction.

Most notable was a wonderful volley at Masri that gave Zamalek all three points, as Fathi - who hit four goals and dished out another two so far - is particularly known of his brilliant left-footed strikes.

A skilful winger, the 21-year-old is characterised by his dribbling skills and ability to cut inside onto his left foot before curling towards goal.

Ayman Hefni: Another flamboyant playmaker in the Zamalek squad, Hefni is his side's key man when at his peak.

Hefni's excellent close control, quick feet and silky through passes should prove vital for Zamalek should he avoid unnecessarily holding onto the ball too much.

Mahmoud “Kahraba”: Zamalek's top scorer this season with six goals, Kahraba is another source of danger to be reckoned with.

A versatile forward, Kahraba could be used as a lone striker to make the most of his ability of making dangerous runs in behind, as well as offering another option on the wing, being equally adept at dribbling and drifting infield.

He could also play centrally behind the centre forward, with his ability to receive the ball behind the opposition's midfield and surge directly towards their defence among his major attributes.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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