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Monday, 01 March 2021

Preview: Zamalek aiming to go clear on top following Ahly's draw

Zamalek will move two points clear of Ahly on top if they beat Maqassa in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Jan 2021
Zamalek v Aswan
Zamalek were held to a goalless draw by Aswan in their previous Egyptian Premier League game (Photo: the club's official Facebook page)
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Zamalek will be looking to make the most of another Ahly draw and restore their two-point lead on top when they meet Maqassa in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday.

The White Knights, who are eyeing their first league crown since 2015, allowed Ahly to pull level with them on top when they were held to a 0-0 draw by minnows Aswan after wasting a plethora of goal-scoring chances last Saturday.

But defending champions Ahly dropped points for the third time in nine matches after playing out a drab goalless draw with Pyramids FC on Tuesday, giving Zamalek another chance to overtake them on top.

Zamalek will need to improve their finishing against Maqassa if they are to avoid another stalemate. Their defence, in contrast, has been rock solid under Portuguese coach Jaime Pacheco, conceding only two goals in eight matches.

The Cairo club's firepower could be affected by the uncertainty surrounding want-away striker Mostafa Mohamed, who is still hoping Zamalek will accept an offer from French side Saint Etienne to sign him before the end of the month.

Zamalek insisted they wouldn't do business with Saint Etienne after being enraged by remarks from the Ligue 1 club's president which they deemed insulting.

Mostafa Mohamed, who played against Aswan, was left out of the squad facing Maqassa.

Maqassa have notably improved since coach Ihab Galal, the mastermind of their impressive second-place finish in 2017, returned for third spell in November.

They won their last three games to move up to seventh in the table with 13 points from eight games.

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