Preview: Zamalek aim to overcome ENPPI in six-pointer clash

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Dec 2014

Zamalek and ENPPI clash in a top-of-the-table game at Cairo Stadium at 19:00 CLT

Zamalek attacking midfielder Ahmed Eid (Photo: Ahram)

Zamalek will be looking to open up a four-point lead at the top of the table when they visit second-placed ENPPI in an enthralling Egyptian league encounter on Thursday.

Already one point clear of nearest rivals ENPPI, leaders Zamalek will be keen to widen the gap at the top as they chase their first league title in a decade.

The significance of the match also arises from the fact that Zamalek failed to beat the petroleum side in their last four meetings, including two league defeats and a dramatic Egypt Cup final loss in 2011.

Egypt Cup holders Zamalek, however, look entirely different this time around, with a host of summer-signings proving vital to help their side maintain a 13-match unbeaten run since the start of the league season.

And the Whites do not have much of injury concerns ahead of the crucial tie, with only keeper Ahmed El-Shennawy and winger Hazem Emam being the major absences.

Egypt keeper El-Shennawy has yet to recuperate from a nagging knee injury he picked up last month, as livewire winger Emam is struggling with a thigh problem he sustained during training this week.

It remains to be seen who will deputize for the pacey Emam, as natural holding midfielder Mohamed Shaaban – who put in fine displays as an inside-right midfielder this season – will most likely fill the void.

Promising playmaker Mostafa Fathi continues to miss out, while out-of-favor Burkinabe striker Abdoulaye Cisse, alongside Hamada Tolba, was included.

Title-contenders Zamalek will be relying on in-form striker Bassem Mosri in rounding off their attacks after their top scorer notched his sixth league goal in last week's 2-0 win over Gouna.

ENPPI, on the other hand, will be hoping midfielder Amr El-Halawani continues his great goal-scoring form having bagged six league goals so far this season.

Ex-Zamalek striker Ahmed Gaafar will also be eager to score against his former team, whom he did not leave in the best of ways in the close season.

ENPPI have only lost once this season, a 2-1 opening defeat to Ittihad El-Shorta.

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