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Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Preview: Despite Champions League setbacks, Egyptian league is Ahly's to lose

Ahram Online , Tuesday 14 Jan 2020
Ahly
Ahly were held to a 1-1 draw by Platinum in the African Champions League (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Although Ahly's African Champions League credentials were called into question following an inconsistent start to their group-phase campaign, the Egyptian Premier League is still theirs to lose as they face promoted Tanta on Wednesday.

Ahly were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Zimbabwe's Platinum in a Champions League Group B clash on Saturday, raising questions as to why the team who look formidable domestically are struggling on the continental level.

They are second in the group with seven points, one ahead of Sudan's Al-Hilal and two behind leaders Etoile Sahel of Tunisia with two matches remaining. The race to obtain two tickets to the quarters is expected to go down to the wire.

But on the domestic level, there are no signs Ahly can be stopped as they relentlessly march towards a fifth straight title.

They have made one of their best starts to a season, winning their first 10 matches with a swagger, having scored 28 goals while conceding only two.

Their nearest challengers, Arab Contractors, are one point behind but having played three matches more, it's hard to foresee a real challenge on top.

Tanta are struggling in the Premier League after earning promotion as they sit third from bottom with 10 points, one point adrift of safety.

Ahly's mounting injury problems look to have eased following the recovery of winger Hussein El-Shahat but influential attacking midfielder Walid Soliman was ruled out of the Tanta tie with a calf complaint.

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

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