Preview: Zamalek eye first win over ENPPI in five years

Omar Zaazou , Friday 8 Jan 2016

Zamalek will be seeking to make it two wins in a row after the newly-appointed Mido guided the Cairo giants to a 2-0 win over second-placed Dakhleya last week

Zamalek claim a 2-0 victory over Dakhleya in their first match under coach Mido on Tuesday (Photo:Ahram)

Zamalek will be looking for their first Egyptian league victory over ENPPI since 2010 when both sides meet at Petrosport Stadium on Saturday.

A 2-1 win over ENPPI, courtesy of goals from Alaa Ali and Hossam Arafat, in the 2009-2010 league season proved to be Zamalek's last victory over their resilient opponents – who have prevailed four times in all competitions ever since.

It all started with a 3-1 league win in the first half of the 2010-2011 league season, where an early Mohamed Abdel-Shafy goal was replied to by three from the petroleum side.

ENPPI then went on to memorably beat Zamalek, who were then managed by the decorated ex-Egypt boss Hassan Shehata, 2-1 in the Egypt Cup final after coming back from a Amr Zaki goal down to snatch the title.

Ironically, a very similar scenario happened the following year in 2012 in the league, when again then-ENPPI striker Ahmed Abdel-Zaher hit the winner in the 80th minute to give his side another 2-1 comeback win.

Even though Zamalek fans would hardly forget the domestic cup defeat at the hands of their rivals, a 2-0 loss and another 1-1 draw would similarly remain fresh in the minds for quite some time – albeit for different reasons.

Zamalek were denied two legitimate goals in their 2-0 defeat in the first half of their triumphant 2014-2015 campaign, where a contentious ENPPI win sparked rage from the Cairo giants' board.

Their second league meeting, meanwhile, was marked by a gruesome tragedy that saw more than 20 Zamalek fans killed in a stampede after being teargassed by security forces, in what has become known as the Air Defense massacre.

And now Zamalek, under newly-appointed coach Mido, will be keen to make it two wins in a row after managing to beat second-placed Dakhleya 2-0 on the ex-Tottenham striker's returning debut.

Mido's mission should be easier than his last season's predecessors this time around, with ENPPI failing to register a single win in three league games en route to their meeting.

A thrilling 4-4 draw with Dakhleya was then followed by a 2-1 defeat by Ismaily and a narrow 1-0 loss at Ittihad – with ENPPI now lying ninth of league standings on 14 points.

Mido left out playmaker Ahmed Hamoudi, who is on loan from Basel, and striker Ahmed Hassan Mekki. Defensive midfielder Ibrahim Salah is also out. 

Zamalek are currently fifth of the league with 21 points, two off leaders Maqassa who played two games more. 

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