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Preview: Ahly hoping to maintain perfect start before long Egyptian league break

Ahram Online , Wednesday 4 Nov 2015
Ahly
Ahly needed a stoppage-time goal to beat Petrojet 1-0 in their precious Egyptian Premier League game (Photo: Ahram)
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Ahly will be hoping to continue their 100 percent start to the Egyptian Premier League before a long break when they face last season's dark horses Maqassa on Thursday.

The Red Devils, although still yet uninspiring, bagged maximum nine points from their first three games as they aim to regain their domestic supremacy after a Zamalek league triumph last season deprived them of a record-equaling ninth straight title.

Those wins included a hard-earned one last week when a stoppage-time header from Emad Meteb gave Ahly a 1-0 victory over Petrojet in Suez.

Maqassa, who have five points from three matches, proved a force to be reckoned with last season, finishing fourth in the league to book a place in the CAF Confederation Cup for their first African adventure.

Ahly's new coach Jose Peseiro will be hoping to silence doubters after many club supporters criticized the decision to appoint him following the sacking of Fathi Mabrouk, saying his CV was not up to the standards of Egypt and Africa's most successful outfit.

The club did not look impressive in their first three matches but they are still hoping new signings would quickly gel into the team and start delivering, including marquee signing Malick Evouna.

The Gabon striker became the most expensive player signed by an Egyptian club when he joined Ahly for $2.5 million but he was left out of the squad to face Petrojet, with the club's football director saying his omission was for technical reasons.

Fellow new striker John Antwi, a Ghanaian, is yet to impress but central defender Ahmed Hegazy, who joined in the summer after a disappointing spell disrupted by injury at Italy's Fiorentina, caught the eye with some solid displays in the heart of a four-man backline.

Evouna returned to the squad for the Maqassa clash, so did experienced defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour.

A win for Ahly will help them move top and leapfrog defending champions and foes Zamalek, who secured a 2-1 comeback win over Arab Contractors on Wednesday.   

Ahly and Zamalek will not play for more than 40 days following this round as their league matches will be delayed due to Egyptian national team commitments. 

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

 
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