Preview: Ahly aim to wrap up Egyptian league title 'as soon as possible'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 27 Feb 2018

File photo of Egypt's Ahly (Ahram)

Runaway leaders Ahly are looking to win the Egyptian Premier League title "as soon as possible" to turn their attention towards their African Champions League campaign, the club's assistant coach said ahead of Wednesday's game against Dakhleya.

Although the title is virtually assured, Ahly are seeking to be officially crowned champions so that they can focus on the lucrative Champions League. They start their African campaign against Gabon's CF Mounana next month as they seek to make up for last year's disappointment when they lost to Morocco's Wydad Casablanca in the final.

Ahly will wrap up a third consecutive league title with six matches to spare if they beat Dakhleya and Enppi in their next two games. The Red Devils are on top of the table with 69 points, a staggering 21 ahead of second-placed Zamalek.

"We are treating the next two games against Dakhleya and Enppi as cup finals," Ahly's assistant coach Ahmed Ayoub said on the club's official website.

"Everyone at the club is aware that settling the league title in our favour will erase much of the pressure on the technical staff and players so that we can focus on both the Champions League and the Egypt Cup."

Dakhleya, who lie 12th in the table with 30 points, six above the relegation zone, lost 2-0 to Ahly in the reverse fixture last November.

"The relegation threat of Dakhleya will make things more difficult for us," Ayoub added.

Ahly almost have a fully-fit squad to choose from but the build-up to the game was dominated by the uncertainty surrounding the future of two of the team's key players.

Playmaker Abdallah El-Said and versatile defender Ahmed Fathi, who are also regular members of Egypt's squad, are reportedly reluctant to extend their deals, which expire at the end of the season.

According to media reports, El-Said has reportedly received an offer from an unnamed Turkish club while Fathi is contemplating a move to a Saudi club.

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