Zamalek sweat over fitness of key duo; Cairo derby venue still unknown

Ahram Online , Friday 17 Jul 2015

Hefni was substituted after picking up a knee injury in Zamalek's 4-0 defeat of already-relegated Nasr in Wednesday's Egyptian Premier League game (Photo: Zamalek's official Facebook page)

Zamalek are sweating over the fitness of key duo Ayman Hefni and Mostafa Fathi after the talented attacking midfielders picked up minor injuries ahead of the anticipated Cairo derby against Ahly on Tuesday.

Playmaker Hefni and winger Fathi, who formed the backbone of a powerful Zamalek side this season, sustained knee injuries during the team's 4-0 rout of already-relegated Nasr on Wednesday.

The club said the injuries were not serious but that both would undergo scans to determine their availability for a crunch derby when Zamalek will be eyeing at least a draw to be crowned Egyptian Premier League champions for the first time since 2004.

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) initially said the match would take place in El-Gouna but Ahly insisted they would not play in the Red Sea resort, citing the pitch's poor condition.

Several cities have reportedly refused to host the match, which will be played behind closed doors, including the capital Cairo and Suez.

"The club reserved four hotels in as many cities because it's still unclear where the match will be played," Zamalek said on their official website.

A draw for Zamalek, who have not beaten their cross-town rivals since 2007, will give them an unassailable nine-point lead over the Red Devils with two matches to go.

Ahly have been the league champions for the past eight seasons.

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