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Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Preview: Zamalek in new-found optimism as they face Senegal's Generation Foot

Ahram Online , Friday 13 Sep 2019
Soccer Football - Egyptian Cup Final - Zamalek v Pyramids - Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt - September 8, 2019 Zamalek's Shikabala, staff and team mates celebrate with the trophy after the match REUTERS
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Views: 3175

Egypt's Zamalek continue their African Champions League campaign away to Senegal's Generation Foot on Saturday with a new-found optimism after making a superb start under Serbian coach Micho.

The former Uganda boss has presided over four straight wins and clean sheets since taking over last month, including Zamalek's impressive 3-0 win over Pyramids FC in the Egypt Cup final last week.

The vivid attacking display the Cairo giants had produced to end the 2018/19 season with a domestic cup triumph had their fans buzzing with excitement over the new term, with some new signings already making their mark.

Moroccan playmaker Achraf Bencharki has been the most impressive among the new recruits and his double salvo against Pyramids made all the difference.

Mahmoud Shikabala, a veteran winger and fan favourite who returned to his boyhood club in the summer, has also made headlines with some superb displays. However, he will not be available against Generation Foot in the first-leg of the Champions League second round due to a slight muscle injury.

Moroccan winger Mohamed Oujnajem, who joined in the summer, is also out after Zamalek failed to register him in their Champions League squad in time.

"We'll miss Shikabala and Ounajem as they are very important for the team," Micho told the pre-match news conference.

"But I trust our squad, who will be able to make up for the absence of both players. Our team is very stable technically, and we don't think of anything except victory."

Zamalek, who kicked off their Champions League campaign with a 13-0 aggregate victory over Somalia's Dekedaha, are overwhelming favourites to overcome Generation Foot and reach the group stage.

They won the last of their five Champions League titles in 2002.

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