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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Preview: Ahly face stern Masry test amid hectic schedule

The Port Said based club, Masry, are currently 4th on the table with 29 points after 18 games, and a victory against Ahly will lift them above Pyramids FC, who have 30 points, to third place

Karim Farouk , Monday 26 Apr 2021
Ahly
(Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Defending champions Ahly will take on Masry on Tuesday in Alexandria stadium as they are overwhelmed by a packed schedule that will see them play 9 games in just 27 days.

The Reds are currently second on the Egyptian table with 33 points, three behind leaders Zamalek who have played two games more.

The league season has been compressed as it started late December, and Ahly have piled up their fixtures list following their participation in the Club World Club, where they claimed the bronze medal, and their African Champions League defence campaign.

“I have not seen such a schedule in my life, it is a very condensed schedule, especially that we did not have proper preparation due to the lack of a pre-season. This will be very harmful for the players of Ahly and the Egyptian national team too,” Ahly coach Pitso Mosiame said after the Smouha defeat last week.

The South African tactician has a growing list of injuries of 10 players, including influential Moroccan centre back Badr Benoun, flamboyant Tunisian left back Ali Maaloul, Nigerian winger Junior Ajayi, and Egyptian international midfielder Hamdi Fathi.

On the other side, Masry vice president Mohamed El-Khouly refuses any changes to the current schedule, saying that everybody knew the risks.

“Ahly and a few other clubs insisted on completing last season. Due to the coronavirus, the season ended late in November and everybody knew that the new season would be condensed, and we cannot afford to postpone any games,” El-Khouly told a local radio channel on Monday.

On the other side, Masry has a full squad and hope to maintain their good form this season under coach Ali Maher, as they vie for a top four spot.

The Port Said based club are currently 4th on the table with 29 points after 18 games, and a victory against Ahly will lift them above Pyramids FC, who have 30 points, to third place.

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

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