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Preview: Grit and belief as Ahly bring title bid back on track in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Feb 2019
Ahly
File photo of Ahly (the club's official website)
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Ahly's belief that they can win a fourth successive Egyptian Premier League title is rapidly growing as they aim to close to within four points of leaders Zamalek when they meet Gouna on Sunday.

A run of seven straight league wins coupled with two draws for Zamalek helped Ahly trim the gap on top and another victory over Gouna will throw the title race wide open.

After a disappointing first half of the season, Ahly were reinvigorated by a host of January signings, with wingers Ramadan Sobhi and Angolan Geraldo in particular impressing down both flanks.

With Sobhi serving automatic suspension in the previous game against Dakhleya, Geraldo made the most of a starting spot to shine and lead Ahly to a convincing 3-1 victory, scoring a goal and starting the move which led to another.

"Pyramids lost and Zamalek drew, and that created some pressure on us before the encounter, but we have to only focus on our game and everything will come after. It is a long way and we will keep doing what we are doing," Ahly coach Martin Lasarte said after the win over Dakhleya.

Ahly should not expect an easy ride against Gouna, however, after the latter caused a huge upset by beating second-placed and big-spending outfit Pyramids 2-1 in their previous match.

Their counter attacking abilities sliced open the defence of Pyramids but they will have to do without four of their key players when they meet Ahly due to an agreement between both sides as they are on loan from the Red Devils.

Ahly will miss first-choice goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi after he was injured during the warm-up before the Dakhleya match. Long-term absentees Walid Azaro, Ahmed Fathi and Walid Soliman are also out.

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

 
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