Zamalek in Ittihad test; Ahly look for return to form at Smouha

Eslam Omar, Thursday 2 Dec 2010

Zamalek will host Ittihad of Alexandria in the Egyptian Premier League, hoping to extend their lead at the top, while Ahly want to bounce back from their lows when they travel to Smouha


The Whites’ coach Hossam Hassan wants to maintain his excellent run (24 points) after a series of impressive results, including nine straight games without a single defeat, as they only lost to Enppi in August in Day 3.

However, Hassan will have to do without Qatar international winger Hussein Yasser El-Mohamady, injured in the Gulf Cup, along with Amr Zaki who suffers from a long-term knee injury.

In the other camp, Mohamed Amer, who replaced Brazilian coach Carlos Cabral, doesn’t intend to give his visitors any favours as Ittihad of Alexandria are now second from bottom with only nine points.

Smouha to test Ahly new coach Zizo

Alexandria will be at the center of attention as Smouha challenges Ahly’s new coach Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Shafy “Zizo”. The latter hopes to put the team back on the right track, while returning supporters to the stands, especially after their last sorrowful 3-1 defeat against Ismaily that forced former coach Hossam El-Badry out of the club.

Zizo can count on Mohamed Fadl, who is back to action for the first time in six weeks, to strengthen his front line in the absences of injured Liberian striker Francis De Forkey, striker Osama Hosny, and Lebanese striker Mohamed Ghaddar.

Ahly’s doctors have been busy since the start of the season as in addition to the striking trio and the long-term injured Ahmed Hassan, left winger Sayed Moawad and international defender Sherif Abdel-Fadil have also been ruled out with muscles strains.

The defending champions are fifth with 18 points and they have two games in hand. But they’ll have to be careful against an enthusiastic Smouha team that crushed Masry 3-1 in Port Said, realising their first victory in the season under the helm of new coach Hamza Al-Gamal.

Here are Thursday’s games:

Smouha – Ahly (16:45)
Masr Lil Maqassa – Talae El-Gaish (16:45)
Zamalek – Ittihad of Alexandria (19:00)

All times indicated are Cairo local time (GMT+2)

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