Preview: Zamalek eye near-certain win against bottom side Tanta

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Nov 2016

Zamalek’s coach Moamen Soliman, after a rebuke from club president Mortada Mansour, is fortunate that his team is facing the bottom-ranked Tanta on Friday

Ayman Hefni
Zamalek's playmaker Ayman Hefni returns to the team's squad after recovering from a muscle injury (Photo: Ahram)

Zamalek will resume their league campaign with an easy test on Friday when they face newly promoted side Tanta at Petro Sport stadium in Cairo.

The international break was important for the Cairo giants to regain their composure after a week of troubles.

Despite winning their game against Masry just before the international break, Zamalek's demanding President Mortada Mansour expressed his displeasure at the team's performance during the game, criticising coach Moamen Soliman for the team's poor performance.  

The latter resigned from his post before Mansour gave him a vote of confidence a few days later.  

Soliman is lucky to face Tanta in this critical period as a convincing win during Friday's clash would cement his position as the team's coach.

Theoretically Zamalek will have an easy task against bottom side Tanta given the huge difference between the two sides.

The return of key players Ayman Hefny, Stanley Ohawuchi and Tarek Hamed, who all missed the Masry clash, will boost Zamalek's chances against Tanta.

Zamalek's international striker Bassem Morsi will not be available against Tanta as he needs one week of treatment to recover from a back injury that he picked up in Egypt's 2-0 win over Ghana in the World Cup qualifiers on Sunday.

But striker Ahmed Gaafar, who scored the winner against Masry, is ready to replace him.

Coach Moamen Soliman asked his players not to underestimate their opponents especially after their convincing performance against Ahly.  

He insisted that the team must win the game to move a step forward to the league table's summit.

Zamalek are in 11th place in the league table with 10 points, 11 behind leaders Maqassa who have played four games more.  

"It's important to win against Tanta to keep the title bid alive. Tanta have delivered good performances and we must respect them," Soliman told the club's official website on Wednesday.

On the other hand, Tanta are unlucky to face Ahly and Zamalek respectively.    

They lost to Ahly 1-0 just before the international break in a game that saw a good performance from the newly-promoted side.

Their mission against Zamalek will be tough especially with the current situation of the White Knights but they are dreaming of a surprise against the Cairo giants.

"Zamalek's clash will be tough," Tanta coach Khaled Eid told reporters on Thursday.  

"They are a good team that includes many stars. We will do our best to control their key players and I hope to realise a positive result against them." 


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