Preview: Ahly need win against ENPPI to keep title dream alive

Mohamad Mosselhi , Monday 2 Feb 2015

The defending champions look for a win against second-placed ENPPI to close gap with league leaders Zamalek

Abdallah El Said (R) of Egypt's Ahli (Photo: Reuters)

Five days after their 1-1 draw in the Cairo derby against Zamalek, Ahly will have another tough test on Tuesday when they face second-placed ENPPI at the Arab Contractors stadium. 

Third in the league table with 33 points, the Red Devils are looking to reduce the 11-point gap that separates them from league leaders Zamalek.

The mission will not be easy given the strong displays of the Petroleum side this season, under the guidance of Tarek El-Achri, one of the best coaches in the domestic league.

Ahly's coach Juan Carlos Garrido announced on Monday his 18-man list for Tuesday's clash. Classy midfielder Walid Soliman featured on the list after recovering from his injury sustained during the derby.

New-signing Peter Ebimobowei was also included on the list for the first time since his arrival last month. Youth midfielder Nasser Maher makes his first appearance with the senior team to compensate suspended defensive midfielder Mohamed Rezk who was awarded his third yellow card against Zamalek on Thursday.

Keepers Sherif Ekramy and Ahmed Adel and team skipper Hossam Ghaly continue their absence for different reasons, while fullback Hussein El-Sayed will not be available as he is serving a four-match ban.

Meanwhile, second-placed ENPPI aim to continue their strong performance this season with a win against the defending champions Ahly to impose more pressure on league leaders Zamalek.

The Petroleum side are used to making strong displays against Egypt's heavyweights Ahly and Zamalek. They defeated Zamalek 2-0 in December, and they aim to earn a similar result against Ahly.

The team have many talented players such as Salah Ashour, Amr El-Halawani, Lama Kone and Mahmoud Abdel-Moneam, who returned to ENPPI after a short spell at Swiss side Grasshopper.

ENPPI have the strongest attack in the league this season with 36 goals, as well as the second best defense after Zamalek.  

The Petroleum side are second in the league table with 38 points, six behind Zamalek. 

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