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Preview: Wounded Ahly aim to regain winning rhythm in Egyptian league against Masry

Mohamad Mosselhi , Wednesday 24 Apr 2019
Ahly
(Photo: Al-Ahram)
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A wounded Ahly side will be looking to return to winning ways in the Egyptian league on Thursday when they face Masry in a delayed game at Mexx Stadium in Alexandria.

The Red Devils lost to Pyramids 1-0 in a league game last week to escalate tensions in the club, especially since the defeat comes a few days after the club's stunning elimination from the Champions League quarters.

After Pyramids' defeat, Ahly fell to third place on the league table with 58 points, five points behind leaders Pyramids, who played three games more.

Ahly will have the chance to move to the second place at the expense of Zamalek, who lost to Pyramids 1-0 on Tuesday.

Zamalek are now second on the league table with 60 points, just two points ahead of Ahly.

But Ahly's mission will not be easy given the good performance of Masry under the guidance of coach Ihab Galal.

The new coach has done great work with the team, lifting them from the relegation zone to fourth place on the table with 46 points.

With their 2-1 win over Zamalek earlier this month, Masry confirmed that they are capable of posing a great threat for the league's top flights.

"Our target is to win the game and we are well prepared for this tough clash," Masry coach Ihab Galal told reporters.

"We will face Ahly without pressure, which is not the case for Ahly, who is under huge pressure given their recent poor results."

Conscious of this fact, Ahly's under-fire coach Martin Lasarte has named all his available top guns for this crucial clash.

The list saw the presence of 18-year-old midfielder Arabi Badr, who is making his first senior appearance this season. 

Classy winger Ramadan Sobhi, who missed the Pyramids clash due to a muscle injury, was included in Lasarte's list for the Masry game, but his participation on Thursday remains unclear.

The Uruguayan coach will have a great problem between the sticks as keeper Mohamed El-Shenawi received his third yellow card against Pyramids and he will be absent against Masry due to automatic suspension.

Second keeper Sherif Ekrami is yet to recover from a muscle injury that put him on the sidelines for weeks, so Lasarte has no choice but to rely on his third choice Ali Lotfi.

El-Shenawi is not the only one suspended. Midfielder Amr El-Soulaya and striker Marwan Mohsen will also miss the game due to automatic suspension.

However, Masri, who will play on Tuesday with their full squad, are likely to provide a stiff test for Ahly and they aim to realise a surprise against the 40-time Egyptian champions.

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

 
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