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Thursday, 24 October 2019

Preview: Zamalek eye winning start in Egyptian league after Super Cup disappointment

Zamalek open their Egyptian Premier League campaign against Ittihad in Cairo on Monday

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Sep 2019
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Soccer Football - Egyptian Super Cup - Al Ahly v Zamalek - Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt - September 20, 2019 Zamalek's Mahmoud Alaa celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS
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While Zamalek's start to their reign under Serbian coach Micho was promising, two successive losses, including a bitter 3-2 defeat by arch rivals Ahly in the Egyptian Super Cup, somewhat dampened the mood.

The Cairo giants will be seeking to make amends by kicking off their Egyptian Premier League campaign with a win over Ittihad of Alexandria on Monday.

Micho was criticised for his starting line-up selections as Zamalek fell 3-0 down against Ahly, only to stage a late rally which saw them score twice via well-taken penalties from central defender Mahmoud Alaa.

He was particularly blamed for not fielding in-form striker Mostafa Mohamed and left-back Abdallah Gomaa.

When the burly Mostafa was introduced after the break, Zamalek's attack was revitalized and he managed to win the penalty which gave the team a lifeline.

Mostafa is likely to regain his place in the starting line-up when the White Knights meet Ittihad in Cairo as they begin their campaign to dethrone perennial rivals Ahly, winners of the last four league editions.

But Micho will have to do with only one natural central midfielder in Ferjani Sassi, with his usual partner Tarek Hamed suspended and back-ups Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz and Mohamed Hassan injured.

Central defender Mohamed Abdel-Ghani is also out after picking up an injury against Ahly.

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

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