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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Preview: Zamalek boss Galal needs to overcome 'inexperience' ahead of Confed Cup kick-off

Omar Zaazou , Tuesday 6 Mar 2018
File photo of Zamalek (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Views: 757

Zamalek manager Ehab Galal will be looking to overcome his side's little experience in African competitions when they kick off their CAF Confederation Cup campaign with a visit to Ethiopia's Welayta Dicha in Hawassa on Wednesday.

Having finished third in the league standings last season, five-time Champions League holders Zamalek will be taking part in Africa's secondary competition – which they have yet to win – this time around.

The Whites will be taking heart from their recent fine form in the league, having grabbed six consecutive wins to climb to Champions League-qualifying second spot of the table.

Manager Galal, however, remains wary of his side's little experience in African competitions, with most of the players arriving from low-profile league clubs, but vowed to overcome that hurdle.

"We have players who will be playing for the first time in African competitions but we will be looking forward to making a strong start," ex-Maqassa manager Galal said in the pre-match press conference.

"As to me, I got experience in Africa since my days with Maqassa whom I lead to victory here in Ethiopia, that's why I am not quite concerned.

"Our new and young players could be anxious about their first game in African competitions, but I was keen to convert their fear into positive energy ahead of the match.

"We need to impose ourselves and score early in the game to win the tie. The opponents know quite well they are facing a big side in Africa."

Zamalek will be missing Syrian full-back Moayad Ajan due to a long-term injury, while center-back Mahmoud Hamdi has been ruled out due to automatic suspension after seeing red against Libya's Ahli Tripoli in the Champions League last season.

Striker Bassem Morsi and playmaker Ayman Hefni, meanwhile, have been left out by the 50-year-old Galal due to technical reasons.

The round of 32 return leg takes place at the Army Stadium in Suez, where 5000 Zamalek fans will be allowed to cheer on their side.      

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

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