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Preview: Ahly four wins short of third straight Egyptian league title

Ahram Online , Friday 23 Feb 2018
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Four wins, starting from Saturday’s game against El-Entag El-Harby, will be enough to give Ahly a third consecutive Egyptian Premier League title as they retain their dominance of domestic football.

The Red Devils are once again playing in a league of their own, having opened up a staggering 20-point lead over nearest challengers Ismaily at the top of the table with nine matches remaining before the end of the season.

Provided that Ismaily do not drop any points, Ahly will be crowned champions if they win their next four matches. The insurmountable lead will come even earlier if Ismaily, who have a game in hand, slip up in any of their next five games.

Although the league crown looks firmly in the bag, Ahly vowed not to rest their key players against El-Entag El-Harby, who lie sixth in the table with 36 points.

“Our focus now is fully on our next two league matches against El-Entag and Dakhleya. We want to get maximum points to edge closer to the league triumph,” Ahly’s assistant coach Ahmed Ayoub said.

“We want to keep our best players in the starting line-up in order not to affect the team before our African Champions League game against Gabonese Mounana next month.”

The formidable Cairo giants are on a 12-match winning run after a brief period of poor results in December. They are eyeing a record-extending 40th league title and their 11th in the past 12 editions.

They will miss key playmaker Abdallah El-Said and central defender Saad Samir against El-Entag due to injury and automatic suspension respectively.

Moroccan striker Walid Azaro is expected to start as a lone frontman as he aims to continue his recent prolific form, which saw him climb to the summit of the league’s scoring chart with 16 goals, three clear of Wadi Degla’s Omar El-Said. 

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

 
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