Preview: Zamalek's top marksman Morsi hoping to end goal drought

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Nov 2015

Bassem Morsi
Zamalek striker Bassem Morsi (Photo: Ahram)

Zamalek's top marksman Bassem Morsi was instrumental in helping the club win the domestic double last season but a dry spell coupled with some uninspiring displays so far this term had fans wondering whether he remains sharp in front of goal

The combative frontman scored 18 goals last season, just two short of the Egyptian Premier League top scorer, to guide Zamalek to their first league triumph in 11 years before notching a brace to help them beat arch rivals Ahly in the Egypt Cup final.

But he struggled for form in the early stages of the new season, going three matches without finding the net as Zamalek won twice and drew once. He was also not at his best in terms of unsettling opposing backlines with his physical presence and link-up play with onrushing forwards.

The 23-year-old will have a chance to end this run when Zamalek meet Arab Contractors on Wednesday.

"Morsi has been one of the best strikers in Egypt and Africa lately. He exerts lots of efforts in every match," Zamalek's Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira

"I'm sure that this goalless run is temporary and that he will start scoring again very soon, I have no doubt about that."

In-form winger Mahmoud Kahraba shouldered the goal-scoring responsibilities instead of Morsi, scoring three goals in as many matches including a brace in last week's 2-1 victory over El-Entag El-Harby.

Zamalek come face to face with one of their icons, Arab Contractors coach Hassan Shehata.

Shehata, who led Egypt to a hat-trick of African Nations Cup titles between 2006 and 2010, was linked with the Zamalek job when Ferreira came under pressure following the team's 3-2 loss to Ahly in an exciting Super Cup clash in the United Arab Emirates, just before the new season began.

Under his guidance, Contractors, who were a powerful force in Africa in the 1980s, failed to win any of their first three games, collecting two points from two draws and a defeat.

Zamalek will still miss on-loan playmaker Ahmed Hamoudi, who joined from Swiss side Basel in the summer, and skipper Hazem Emam who is nursing an injury. Central defence pair Mohamed Koffi and Ali Gabr and forward Mohamed Salem are still out.

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