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Preview: Ahly look to end winless streak ahead of Jol term

Ahram Online , Tuesday 1 Mar 2016
Ahly's players (Reuters)
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After dropping six points in three matches, Ahly will be looking to bounce back from their three-game winless streak when they face resilient Petrojet in a league game at Borg El-Arab Stadium on Wednesday.

The Egyptian league leaders failed to earn any win since defeating archrival Zamalek 2-0 in the Cairo derby last month, having drawn in three consecutive games against Talae El-Geish (0-0), Ghazl El-Mahalla (1-1) and Masry (2-2).

Their comfortable seven-point difference with second-placed Zamalek has been reduced to three, and another failure will not be acceptable as the team are bidding to regain the league title won by Zamalek last season.

Given the latest poor results, Ahly's management reversed its decision to keep interim coach Abdel-Aziz "Zizo" Abdel-Shafi at his post until the end of season, naming Dutch coach Martin Jol as team's new coach.

The former Tottenham coach was officially unveiled on Tuesday, but he will watch Wednesday's clash from the stands as he still needs time before taking charge of the team.

It is likely that Jol will start his mission with the team when they face Maqassa on Saturday.

Ahly will have to do without injured keeper Sherif Ekrami, who still needs time to recover from a hamstring injury, as well as defender Rami Rabie, who is serving an automatic ban after collecting a third yellow card against Masry.

Veteran striker Emad Metab, who scored Ahly's last-gasp winner against Petrojet in the first round, will also miss the game due to injury.

On the other hand, Petrojet will be looking to claim a positive result against Ahly to improve their situation in the league table.

The defensive-minded side are in seventh place with 30 points, and a win against Ahly will allow the team to advance into fourth place, but their mission will not be easy against the league leaders. They will have to do it without Ethiopian midfielder Shimelis Bekele and striker Mohamed Ragab due to automatic suspension.

Petrojet produced some fine displays under the guidance of coach Talaat Youssef, who helped the team bounce back from a poor start in the season.

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