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Sunday, 18 August 2019

Preview: Zamalek gear up for Confed Cup last-16 tie with Smouha clash

Zamalek clash with Smouha at 15:00 CLT, while Ahly meet Assiouty at 18:00 CLT in the Egyptian league on Tuesday

Omar Zaazou, Monday 13 Apr 2015
Zamalek players
Zamalek players (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Zamalek face 13-th placed Smouha in the league away from home as a final preparation for their CAF Confederation Cup round of 16 first-leg tie with Morocco’s FUS Rabat.

Going into the game at the top of the league table, four points ahead of closest rivals ENPPI, Zamalek will be keen to expand lead over ENNPI to seven at the expense of Smouha.

“We have no option but to win and widen the gap with our opponents,” Zamalek football director Ismail Youssef said.

“The Smouha game will be a good preparation for the CAF Confederation Cup clash with Morocco’s FUS Rabat.”

Zamalek internationals Ahmed El-Shennawi, Ahmed Dwidar, Ali Gabr, Hazem Emam, Ahmed Tawfik, Ibrahim Salah, Ahmed Eid, Khlaed Kamar and Bassem Morsy have all returned to the team training two days ago after completing international duty.

They all have been declared fit to feature for the Cairo giants, who have announced a fully-fit squad for the Smouha game.

The Whites, who strolled past Rwanda’s Rayon Sports 6-1 on aggregate, host the Confederation Cup first leg on 19 April before visiting the Moroccans two weeks later.  

Ahly face Assiouty ahead of Tetouan clash

Egyptian league holders Ahly will also be preparing for their continental campaign as they host second-from-bottom Assiouty Sport on the same day.

The Reds will visit Morocco’s Moghreb Tetouan in the Champions League last-16 first leg on 19 April.

Ahly, who are in third place on the league table, insist they haven’t given up on winning the title this season despite a 1-1 draw with Ismaily last week that left them eight points behind Zamalek.

“We haven’t thrown the towel yet,” football director Wael Gomaa said.

“We remember being 13 points behind during one previous Egyptian league season, and we managed to win the title in the end."

“People forgot that we said at the beginning of the season we are in a rebuilding phase; but Ahly fans accept nothing but the first place.”

Manager Juan Carlos Garrido has ruled out veteran striker Emad Meteb and full-back Hussein El-Sayed from his squad.

Meteb, who sustained an injury during the recent Egypt camp, is believed to have recovered, however, Ahly’s management preferred to rest him for the league tie.

Strikers Mohamed Nagy ‘Gedo’ and Ahmed Abdel-Zaher were also omitted, while Nigerian striker Peter Ebimobowei was called up by Garrido after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Full-back Sabri Rahil has been included in the roster to replace El-Sayed. Another defender, Sherif Abdel-Fadil, will also be ready for the match.  

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

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