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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Preview: Entertaining Ahly firing on all cylinders in Egyptian league

Ahly are expected to continue their winning start to the season when they face promoted Aswan away from home in the Egyptian Premier League on Saturday

Hatem Maher , Friday 4 Oct 2019
Ahly
Ahly celebrate their entertaining 4-0 win over El-Entag El-Harby (Ahram)
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Ahly have finally rediscovered their swagger and their demanding fans really like it -- their team have been truly ruthless in the early stages of the season.

The Red Devils are likely to maintain their 100 percent start to the Egyptian Premier League when they face promoted Aswan in the Upper Egyptian city in an afternoon kick-off on Saturday.

They kicked off the defence of their title with two wins out of two, but one has been particularly impressive.

Having opened their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Smouha, Ahly crushed El-Entag El-Harby 4-0 last Wednesday after producing an attractive brand of attacking football that bore the hallmarks of new Swiss coach Rene Weiler, who is quickly winning over the team's faithful.

Although Ahly won the league for a fourth straight season last term, some uninspiring displays under Uruguayan coach Martin Lasarte did not go down well with their supporters, who prefer a more ruthless version of Egypt and Africa's most successful outfit.

But now that they have started to put on vivid attacking performances, which also saw them defeat Cairo rivals Zamalek 3-2 in an exciting Egyptian Super Cup, plenty of entertainment could be served up over the course of the season.

Weiler has been praised for turning around the fortunes of some players whose form looked to be fading. Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi is now turning to a deadly marksman and Ramadan Sobhi, who is on loan from English side Huddersfield Town, is finally scoring.

Sobhi's arrival in the second half of last season made the difference as Ahly bridged an eight-point gap with Zamalek to snatch the title from under the noses of their nemesis, but the winger was still criticised for not being adventurous enough.

Now Sobhi has scored two goals in as many games and provided an assist against El-Entag, and Weiler should be given the full credit.

Aswan, who collected a solitary point from their opening two matches, have a daunting task of at least sharing honours with a vibrant Ahly side. But should the Red Devils pick up from where they left off against El-Entag, that possibility would be highly unlikely.

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

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