After the return of recently-recovered Gabonese striker Malick Evouna and midfielder Saleh Gomaa, Ahly caretaker coach Abdel-Aziz “Zizo” Abdel-Shafi could face a lineup choice dilemma as he is expected to change his regular starting XI when the Reds host Zamalek on Tuesday.
Under the helm of Zizo, Ahly played the previous three games in the Egyptian Premier League with a 4-4-2 scheme pairing John Antwi and Amr Gamal up front due to the absence of influential duo Gomaa and Evouna.
Despite winning all three games – Ismaily 1-0, Ittihad of Alexandria 1-0 and ENPPI 2-0 – the front line failed to prove its efficiency with Gamal and Antwi scoring only once each and squandering a host of chances.
Ahly and Egypt’s record-sign Evouna might help Zizo turn his fortunes around with his blistering pace and imposing physical presence. The 23-year-old Gabon international striker scored five goals in four games and could come, if totally fit, at the expense of Gamal or Antwi.
Zizo may also opt for a tactical move using a 4-2-3-1 formation to line up gifted playmaker Saleh Gomaa alongside Abdallah El-Said and Ramadan Sobhi just behind a lone striker; a gifted trio that combines pace and skill and gives a helping hand to their defenders.
Possible Ahly lineup
In a 4-2-3-1 formation: Sherif Ekrami - Sabri Rahil, Ahmed Hegazy, Rami Rabia, Ahmed Fathi - Hossam Ghaly, Hossam Ashour - Abdallah El-Said, Saleh Gomaa, Ramadan Sobhi - Malick Evouna.
In a 4-4-2 formation: Sherif Ekrami - Sabri Rahil, Ahmed Hegazy, Rami Rabia, Ahmed Fathi - Hossam Ghaly, Hossam Ashour, Abdallah El-Saied, Ramadan Sobhi - Malick Evouna, Amr Gamal (John Antwi).
Ahly, whose eight-season league hegemony was ended by Zamalek last season, tops the table with 35 points, four ahead of the White Knights. Both sides clash in an anticipated Cairo derby next Tuesday.
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