Preview: Ahly aim to bounce back domestically against Contractors after failures abroad
Ahmed Abd El Rasoul, , Monday 26 Nov 2018


Holders Ahly will be looking to return back to winning ways following their recent disappointing performances and results when they visit Arab Contractors in the Egyptian Premier League on Tuesday.

Ahly were held to a 1-1 draw against UAE's Al-Wasl in the Zayed Champions Cup on Thursday, resulting in the Red Devils’ exit from the tournament with the away goal rule as the first leg ended in a 2-2 draw in Cairo.

Ahly's elimination from the Arab championship added more woes for the Reds less than two weeks after losing the African Champions League final to Tunisia's Esperance in Rades.

A few hours after the Zayed Cup exit, Ahly terminated the contract of French coach Patrice Carteron, promoting assistant coach Mohamed Youssef to the position of caretaker manager.

The club said on Sunday that a new coach will be announced within 10 days.

Chmapions Ahly currently lie at the bottom of the Premier League table in round 16 with 11 points after six matches with11 games postponed.

The club is 21 points behind leaders Zamalek who have played 13 matches with tree postponed.

Beating the Arab Contractors, the ninth with 17 points, will be essential for Ahly to reconcile with their fans in their first league match in 50 days.

Before the hiatus from league games caused by Arab and African contests, Ahly lost 4-3 to Ittihad of Alexandria in their last league match on 6 October.

Meanwhile, the Arab Contractors will be eyeing a continuation of their recent fine league run having won their last three matches against El-Entag El-Harby, Dakhleya and Gouna.

On Tuesday, the mission of caretaker coach Youssef will be a little bit difficult as the team will be missing some key players due to different injures.

First-choice goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawi, Moroccan striker Walid Azaro added more woes to Ahly after joining the injury list , which already includes right-back Ahmed Fathi, defender Mohamed Hani, defender Mohamed Naguib, Left-back Ali Maaloul and Striker Junior Ajayi.

"Contractors match is our priority at the time being. We will be facing a strong opponent who delivered good matches recently," Ahly's football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz, who was recently reappointed by the management after Carteron's departure, said on Monday.

"Everyone knows about our next challenges especially amid this number of postponed matches that need much concentration to achieve our targets."

"The current period needs all efforts to make a strong push for our league campaign," Abdel-Hafiz concluded.

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