Preview: Zamalek in must-win mission against Wadi Degla

Omar Zaazou , Monday 12 May 2014

Zamalek out for a much-needed win over Wadi Degla in the Egyptian Premier League

Zamalek v Wadi Degla
Zamalek v Wadi Degla (Photo:Ahram)

Zamalek will have no option but to win against Wadi Degla if they are to keep alive their chances of a final mini-league phase berth when both sides meet at Cairo's Air Defence Stadium on Tuesday.

After salvaging a dramatic 96th-minute 2-1 win over Beni Suef Telephones last week, the Whites will be looking to build on their vital victory after almost losing a place in the league's four-team playoffs.

Zamalek – currently third in Group B – will need to win their remaining two games as they face group rivals, second-placed Ittihad El-Shorta, in their ultimate group game.

Wadi Degla, meanwhile, will be keen to take something from the game, having yet to guarantee survival despite lying fifth in the group table.

Degla have 23 points, just two ahead of third-from-bottom Qanah and five clear of Talae El-Geish, who are last but one.

Given that they will be facing a tough last-week mission against eighth-placed Haras El-Hodoud, Degla will also be looking to make the most of their Zamalek encounter.

Previous meetings

The reverse fixture was of special importance for Zamalek, who managed a hard-fought 3-2 win back then to end a four-match winless streak, which had seen them slip to eighth place before going on to claim three victories in a row.

Despite proving no pushovers in the game, Degla have yet to claim a win over the 11-time Egyptian champions since making their top-flight debut in 2010.

Their previous meetings have always witnessed goals, with both sides playing out just a single draw in six total encounters.

Team news: 15-year-old teenager included

Zamalek will be entering the game at full strength, with manager Mido having defence duo Mahmoud Fathallah and Salah Soliman, both of whom were declared fit for the match after injuries left their statuses doubtful.

But the most notable inclusion is 15-year-old winger Khalil Heggy, who makes the squad for the first time this season as Mido continues his strategy of introducing youngsters into the first team.

Mauritanian forward Dominique da Silva, Yasser Ibrahim and Nour El-Sayed are all back from automatic suspension.

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


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