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Preview: Dominant Ahly set to continue ride towards another Egyptian league title

Ahram Online , Saturday 8 Aug 2020
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A dominant Ahly side are expected to continue from where they left off when they face Enppi on Sunday in their first Egyptian Premier League game in over five months as they close in on a fifth straight title.

The Red Devils made an impressive start to the defence of their title, appearing unbeatable as they chalked up 16 straight wins, only for Alexandria-based club Smouha to snap that run with a 1-1 draw in March.

Following the draw, the competition was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic and its lengthy stoppage prompted speculation that the season could be scrapped altogether.

But Ahly vehemently opposed any cancellation, arguing that they should be awarded the title if the season was not completed.

But with the league back in action, the Cairo giants can now expect being crowned champions on the pitch. Although the season is still at its halfway stage, Ahly seem to be playing in a league of their own.

They top the table with 49 points from 17 games, a staggering 15 ahead of nearest challengers and perennial rivals Zamalek, who admitted that their priority has been shifted to finishing second and earning an African Champions League spot.

Ahly will have to deal with several notable absences when they meet Enppi, who lie seventh in the table with 25 points from 18 matches.

Winger Mahmoud Kahraba is serving a 10-match suspension for being involved in an altercation during an Egyptian Super Cup game against his ex-club Zamalek in February while the contract of long-serving skipper Hossam Ashour expired after he fell out with Ahly's board.

Influential winger Ramadan Sobhi, who has been impressive in the early stages of the season, wouldn't also be available as Ahly remain in talks with English club Huddersfield Town to sign him on a permanent contract after his loan deal expired in the summer.

Central defender Yasser Ibrahim is also out due to an injury but Ahly welcome back key defensive midfielder Hamdi Fathi, who has recovered from a knee injury that kept him on the sidelines for nine months.

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

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