On paper, Ahly should enjoy a trouble-free night when they host a Petrojet side they never lost to in Friday’s Egyptian Premier League game.
The defending champions are seeking to go level on points with arch-rivals and leaders Zamalek, who moved three points clear at the top of the table with a 3-1 comeback win over Ittihad El-Shorta on Thursday.
Portuguese coach Manuel Jose has turned around the fortunes of Ahly since taking over at the club for a third spell last January to revive their hopes of securing a seventh consecutive league crown.
A series of fine results helped them bridge a six-point gap with Zamalek and they will be firm favorites to keep up the pace when they meet Petrojet, who have never defeated Ahly since their promotion to the top flight in 2006.
Ahly won seven times and drew twice in nine meetings with Petrojet, who will be looking to avoid a defeat in the debut of coach Mohamed Omar, who succeeded the sacked Helmi Toulan.
Striker Emad Meteb was expected to make Ahly’s squad for the game after shaking off his niggling injury problems but he was eventually left out.
The 28-year-old was summoned by the Egyptian public prosecution as part of an investigation into an alleged incident which reportedly saw him use his pistol to shoot into the air after a Taxi driver verbally abused his wife.
Playmaker Amir Sayoud returned to the squad after producing a superb display with Algeria’s Olympic team as he created two goals to help them to a 3-0 victory over Zambia in the 2012 London Games qualifiers.
Veteran midfielder Mohamed Abou-Treika is still out with a calf injury, having also missed Egypt’s goalless draw with South Africa which all but ended their hopes of qualifying for next year’s African Cup of Nations finals.
Ismaily will be also keen to beat El-Geish earlier in the day to keep alive their hopes of challenging Ahly and Zamalek for the league title, which they last won in 2002.