Egypt's Zamalek will be without their natural playmakers when they take on USM Alger in a vital African Champions League clash away from home on Wednesday.
Mohamed Ibrahim, coach Augusto Inacio's preferred option in the playmaking rule, has been ruled out of the game because he is suffering from shingles.
Ayman Hefni was Zamalek's regular playmaker before the arrival of Inacio but the Portuguese boss has repeatedly snubbed the 31-year-old, saying his omission is down to "technical reasons".
Hefni was also left out of Zamalek's squad for the USM match, leaving the Cairo giants without a natural playmaker.
Winger Mostafa Fathi was deployed behind lone striker Bassem Morsi in the 1-0 Egyptian Premier League win over Aswan on Thursday but he was largely a peripheral figure.
Zamalek needed a last-gasp goal from out-of-favour striker Emmanuel Mayuka to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to USM Alger early this month.
The last year's runners-up are on top of Group B with five points, one ahead of USM Alger and Libya's Ahli Tripoli. Zimbabwe's Caps United lie at the bottom on three points.
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