Leaders Zamalek to be tested by ambitious ENPPI

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 26 Apr 2011

Hossam Hassan’s team hope to extend their lead in the Egyptian league when they host ENPPI in Cairo today


Egyptian league leaders Zamalek are eager to open a gap with arch-rivals Ahly when they take on ENPPI in week 18 of the domestic league.

Zamalek currently top the league table with 38 points, six ahead of the second–placed titleholders, Ahly, who will be hosted by Masry on Friday.

The petroleum side, ENPPI, are battling to climb the table, where they are currently in fifth place with 27 points.

The Whites are on tremendous form, having come back from behind to beat Haras El-Hodoud 2-1 and Petrojet 2-1 during the past couple of games.

Hassan is suffering from a lack of strikers, as Amr Zaki and Algerian Mohamed Amine Aoudia are out due to injury, while new signing Ahmed “Mido” Hossam is not yet officially registered.

However, flamboyant winger Mahmoud “Shikabala” Abdel-Razek and Ahmed Gaafar have gotten the job done until now and are expected to carry on the burden of attack.

“It is one of the most difficult games in the second round. ENPPI have a lot of talent,” Zamalek’s assistant coach Tarek Soliman was quoted as saying by Zamalek’s media centre on Sunday.

The league leaders will be on their toes as they will seek revenge from the team that handed them their only defeat of the season so far, when they lost 3-1 in the first round.

“We did it in the first round and we will play to win again,” ENPPI football director Alaa Abdel-Sadek was quoted as saying.

“Zamalek is a very determined and star-studded team. It’s a tough game for both of us,” the ENPPI official added.

Bulgarian coach Stoicho Mladenov can count on his top-scorer Ahmed Abdel-Zaher, who is back after a lengthy injury, but will still have to do without two key midfielders, Islam Awad and Abdel Aziz Tawfik, due to their injuries.

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