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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Preview: Zamalek's Shikabala has another chance to stake claim for regular place

Ahram Online , Saturday 24 Aug 2019
Shikabala
Shikabala impressed in the first leg (Photo: Zamalek's official Facebook page)
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With Zamalek guaranteed a place in the African Champions League second round following a 7-0 first-leg win over Somalia's Dekedaha, Mahmoud Shikabala will have another chance to push for a regular place in Saturday's second leg.

The veteran winger, back to his boyhood club in the summer after a brief spell with Greek side Apollon Smyrni, produced an impressive display in last week's first leg as Zamalek equaled a club record for the biggest African win.

He dished out two assists and combined with right-back Hamdi Nagguez to devastating effect, reminding the fans with his old brilliance via some eye-catching feints and back-heel passes.

With Zamalek signing two high-profile wingers in Moroccan duo Achraf Bencharki and Mohamed Ounajem, Shikabala might find it difficult to play on a regular basis this season.

However, should the 33-year-old impress again, especially with Serbian coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic set to make his debut after replacing Swiss Christian Gross, he could stake his claim for a regular berth.

Zamalek fans are also pinning their hopes on Micho to bring them back on track after they faltered badly at the end of last season following the sudden sacking of Gross, surrendering the Egyptian Premier League title to arch rivals Ahly.

The game against Dekedaha would not represent a real test for Micho but it will give him the chance to get more familiar with the players as Zamalek gear up for an Egypt Cup game against Maqassa later this month.

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

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