Last Update 0:37
Friday, 18 June 2021

Preview: Zamalek seek Champions League progress through Algerian test

The Egyptian champions seek continental consolation after recent domestic slump, eye first Champions League quarter finals spot since 2014

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 18 Apr 2016
Egypt's Zamalek v Algeria's Mouloudia Olympique Bejaia - Petro Sport stadium, Cairo, Egypt - 9/4/2016 (Reuters)

Zamalek will be eyeing a spot in the African Champions League group stage for the first time since 2014 when they meet OM Bejaia in the round of 16 second leg on Tuesday.

Enjoying a first leg advantage after beating the Algerian team 2-0 at home ten days earlier, Zamalek need just a draw in Algeria to go through.

Beating Bejaia will be a much-needed morale boost for the Whites, who are suffering on the domestic level especially after Thursday's goalless draw with lowly Dakhleya.

The Egyptian champions are trailing behind leaders Ahly by 11 points with 11 league matches remaining. Given the current superb run of their Cairo rivals, Zamalek are unlikely to stage a comeback and retain their title.

Despite recent claims that he is facing the axe after claiming just one win in three league matches, Scottish coach Alex McLeish has been given a vote of confidence by Zamalek's board a few days ahead of Bejaia clash.

"The first leg was so difficult, but we managed to achieve our target," McLeish said in an interview with Zamalek's official magazine on Monday.

"Our opponent is a well organised team that can control the defence well and despite the presence of their fans we can win again there."

Algerian champions Bejaia will be looking to defeat Zamalek to continue their quest for their maiden continental title.

Zamalek will be boosted by the return of influential playmaker Ayman Hefni who has recovered from a muscular injury, while right-back Omar Gaber is still doubtful for the game due to back pains.

Skillful winger Mostafa Fathi has also missed the trip to Algeria due to injury, while striker Bassem Morsi wasn't available for disciplinary reasons.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:



© 2010 Ahram Online.