Titleholders Ahly will be tested in an away game in Suez against Petroleum-club Petrojet Tuesday, hoping for a dramatic switch of fortunes that will see them topple leaders Zamalek in the final sprint of the season.
With six games remaining, the Red Devils have been trailing nine points behind Zamalek but have seen their league chances revitalised since the appointment of coach Fathi Mabrouk last month.
"The Petrojet game is expected to be very difficult as they are a solid team with a lot of excellent elements," Ahly football director Wael Gomaa told the club's website.
Petrojet are in a joyful mood after holding Zamalek to a 1-1 draw last Saturday moving to 10th place on the table with 48 points.
"Under the leadership of coach Ramadan El-Sayed, Petrojet are delivering excellent performances and the Zamalek victory will make them even tougher. We will play to win despite all we've been through lately," Gomaa insisted.
Ahly have been struggling with a series of injuries and suspensions that forced him to make stiff changes to his lineup for each of the past games. Against Maqassa last week he had to play without 12 players and managed to claim a hard-fought 2-0 victory.
However he dropped precious points against Gouna on Saturday with a 1-1 draw that could have seen him close the gab with Zamalek following their draw with Petrojet.
"Ahly played well against Gouna but the players lost their focus and made defensive mistakes and that cost us a goal," Gomaa explained.
Coach Fathi Mabrouk will welcome back in his squad inspirational midfielder Hossam Ghaly after serving his ban and forward Moemen Zakareya after recovering from a six-week leg injury.
Nigerian striker Peter Ebimobowei and international keeper Sherik Ekrami are out of the game with injuries.
The Cairo-based team is having their last training session in Wadi Degla stadium in Suez on Monday to avoid travelling during Ramadan fasting on Tuesday morning.
Zamalek are playing Arab Contractors at the same time in Cairo.
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