Newly-crowned league champions Ahly entertain relegation-threatened Tanta at Cairo Stadium on Monday, as the Cairo giants explore life without once-regular playmaker Abdallah El-Said.
After the Egypt attacking midfielder had signed for Zamalek before renewing his Ahly contract, the Reds surprisingly decided to put their prized asset up for sale in what seemed to be a disciplinary decision by the club's board.
El-Said has reported to Ahly training following Egypt's training camp in Switzerland, but the club look adamant not to offer the ex-Ismaily playmaker first-team football after he signed for their arch-rivals.
Ahly are no short of attacking midfielders though, with Junior Ajayi, Mido Gaber, Ahmed Hamoudi, Ahmed Hamdi and Phakamani Mahlambi all available, but it is questionable whether any of the aforementioned names can perfect the no.10 role like El-Said did.
Against a third-from-bottom Tanta side, Ahly may would have no problem cruising to victory, but it's the big games where El-Said could prove important.
Moreover, Ahly have no major absences going into the game, with only center-back international Saad Samir missing out.
Should Ahly prevail against Tanta, it will be their 16th consecutive league win in a competition they secured for the 40th time in their history.
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