Zamalek will be eyeing a convincing performance when they visit Alexandria’s Ittihad on Saturday, following two dismal Egyptian league displays against Aswan and Petrojet in the past two weeks.
After failing to break down a humble Aswan side as both teams eventually played out a goalless draw, Zamalek managed to get back to winning ways with a 1-0 home win over Petrojet, courtesy of an own-goal netted by the visitors.
The Whites’ display against Petrojet, however, was particularly worrying for their own fans, who had to see their side struggle for fluency for long spells.
A physical first-half display from Petrojet made life difficult for Zamalek during build-up play, but what was mostly worrying is the Cairo club’s inability to pose threat so often even after their opponents gave up their defensive approach.
Manager Mohamed Helmi, on paper, should find no problems breaking down a 10th-placed Ittihad side, who have failed to grab a single win in their last five games, but whether his side would ease to victory remains to be seen.
Zamalek should be motivated enough to bag all three points on Saturday in their pursuit to pile on the pressure on arch-rivals Ahly, who face a stern test against Hossam Hassan’s Masry a day later.
Midfielder Mahmoud ‘Dunga’ has returned to the squad after being ruled out against Petrojet, with the ex-Maqassa man offering a variety of qualities to Zamalek’s midfield.
Ittihad, meanwhile, will be missing the services of striker Kabongo Kasongo who has been ruled out due to injury.
Zamalek are currently fifth of the league table on 25 points, 14 adrift of leaders Ahly who played four games more. Ittihad are 10th with 19.
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