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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Titleholders Ahly given league lifeline ahead of Gouna game

Ahly can close the gap on Egyptian Premier League leaders Zamalek if they beat Gouna on Tuesday

Hatem Maher , Monday 2 May 2011
Ahly v Gouna
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A draw between the Egyptian Premier League leaders and second-placed Ismaily gave titleholders Ahly a lifeline, ahead of their game at home to lowly Gouna on Tuesday.

Zamalek and Ismaily played out a drab goalless draw on Monday, giving Ahly a timely chance to narrow the gap at the top.

The Red Devils, who are seeking to win a seventh consecutive league title, will leapfrog Ismaily into second place and within four points of Zamalek if they overcome a struggling Gouna outfit.

But they will have to do so without a number of key players, such as injured attacking midfielders Mohamed Abou-Treika and Mohamed Barakat, who were both ruled out of the game due to injury.

In-form right-back Ahmed Fathi and combative central defender Wael Gomaa will also miss out through automatic suspension.

“All the players in Ahly’s squad are ready to step in and fill any gaps,” the team’s Portuguese coach Manuel Jose said.

“I’m not worried about the injuries which hit my team because I have alternatives. We have a depth in our squad.

“Any 11 players can fulfil our task against Gouna on Tuesday.”

The regular quarter’s absence could be a blessing in disguise for several youngsters who have been waiting for a chance to prove their worth under Jose, who returned to Ahly in January to lead them for a third spell following two hugely successful stints at the helm.

Algerian playmaker Amir Sayoud, who caught the eye with some neat touches when he came on as a second-half substitute in Ahly’s goalless draw with Masry, could be included in the starting line-up against Gouna.

Central midfielder Shehab Ahmed, who was surprisingly relegated to the bench after Jose took over, was also named in the squad.

Egypt’s 2010 Nations Cup hero Mohamed "Gedo" Nagy and Mauritanian frontman Dominique Da Silva also made the 19-man roster after they were left out of the Masry game.

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