File photo of an Egyptian Premier League game between Ahly and Mahalla (Ahram)
The Red Devils had a golden chance to kill off the derby in a one-sided first half but could only lead 1-0 at the break. Zamalek roared back after the restart to score two goals and turn the match on its head, only for Ahly to secure a late draw.
Some supporters have bemoaned the departure of South African coach Pitso Mosimane, whose Ahly side defeated Zamalek 5-3 in a thrilling derby in November last year.
But Sami Komsan is now the caretaker coach and he will be looking to keep Ahly afloat until they bring in another foreign replacement for Mosimane, who left by mutual consent last week after a highly-successful 20-month reign.
Ahly still have destiny in their own hands as they seek to wrestle the league title back from arch rivals Zamalek. They will move five points clear on top if they win their three games in hand.
But they can expect a tough test against Mahalla as they miss a host of regular players.
Ahly will have to do without defenders Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, Ayman Ashraf and Ali Maaloul. Midfielder Hamdi Fathi and wingers Hussein El-Shahat and Ahmed Abdel-Kader will also miss the game due to various injuries.
Malian midfielder Aliou Dieng, who missed the Cairo derby, will remain on the sidelines as he is yet to recover from a muscle injury.
Mahalla boast some promising players who can cause Ahly problems, including talented trio Abdo Yehia, Hesham Adel and Yehia Hamed, who have all been linked with summer moves to Zamalek.
The reverse league was exciting, with Ahly snatching a last-gasp 3-2 win over the Nile Delta team, who lie 11th in the league table with 25 points.
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