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Saturday, 18 August 2018

Preview: Stuttering Zamalek aim to bounce back against Maqassa

Following their Confederation Cup-first round exit and 3-1 loss to rivals Ismaily, Zamalek will be looking to get back on track against Maqassa

Ahram Online , Saturday 7 Apr 2018
Zamalek
Zamalek lost 3-1 to Ismaily in their previous Egyptian Premier League game (Photo: Ahram sport)
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Zamalek will be looking to win their remaining league fixtures in hope of bridging a six-point gap with second-placed Ismaily, with the Cairo giants facing Maqassa at Army Stadium in Suez on Sunday.

Having lost 3-1 to rivals Ismaily last week, a third-placed Zamalek’s hopes of finishing runners-up and booking a Champions League berth were dealt a blow with the Dervishes now six points clear of them.

Ehab Galal’s men, however, have no other option but to play for all three points in their upcoming few fixutres – including a derby with recently-crowned champions Ahly – to stand a chance of finishing second.

Their current CAF Confederation Cup-qualifying third spot is not quite secure as well, with fourth-placed Masry lying five points behind but still have two games in hand.

Even though Zamalek should be favorites to beat a 13th-placed Maqassa in a rescheduled game from the 28th week, the fact that the hosts are being coached by an astute manager in Talaat Youssef might make the game more difficult for the Whites.

Maqassa also ran out 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture, as Zamalek should be eyeing revenge against the former club managed by their current boss Galal.   

Zamalek will be missing a host of first-team regulars, with Maarouf Yusuf, forwards Kabongo Kasongo, Nana Poku and Ayman Hefni all ruled out due to different reasons.

But they will be boosted by the return from injury of Tunisia right-back Hamdi Nagguez, who made the squad alongside midfielder Mahmoud Abdel-Aati and winger Ahmed Refaat.

Zamalek are third on 54 points, while Maqassa are 13th with 34.

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

 
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