Shehata debuts against W. Degla to restore Zamalek’s supremacy

Karim Farouk, Tuesday 20 Sep 2011

Legendary Egypt coach Hassan Shehata hopes to make a sensational start of his new reign in Zamalek when he takes on Wadi Degla in round 16 of Egypt Cup on Tuesday

Hassan Shehata
Hassan Shehata

Hassan Shehata has surely enjoyed a dream spell with the Pharaohs over the past six years claiming three African titles but now he will be facing a totally different challenge.

Zamalek hired Egypt’s top tactician to extinguish Ahly who have been dominating the local and African scene over the past seven years and is again expected to be top of the pile at the end of the contest next June.

Shehata has made an important summer shopping to give his squad the depth it needs to challenge a wealthy and strong Ahly team.

With bedding in new signings like Ahmed Hassan, Hani Said and Salah Soleiman, the former Egypt legendary striker hopes to trigger the spark that will ignite the team.

“I am very optimistic ahead of the new season. I hope we would be lucky against Wadi Degla to make a good start of the season,” Shehata was quoted as saying on the club’s official website.

Mido absent

Ahmed Hossam “Mido” has been dropped from the 20-man list for this game as he hasn’t been declared fit yet.

“Mido still needs 10 days to be fit for games. He missed trainings since Thursday and will have to work more on his fitness before starting action,” Zamalek’s assistant coach Ismail Youssef was quoted as saying on the daily news paper Al-Ahram.

Injury-plagued Amr Zaki has totally recovered from his knee injury and is eager to perform under the helms of his mentor Shehata while Ahmed Gaafar will be battling to prove that he deserves a place in the team’s starting lineup.

The coach will build up his play in midfield on Egypt’s skipper Ahmed Hassan and wizard Mahmoud Abdel-Razek “Shikabala” Egypt’s best player last season.

One thing remains a mystery until now that will be unveiled on Tuesday night would Shehata go for a more offensive 4-4-2 formation or will he just stick to his classic 3-5-2 that helped him win three African titles with the Pharaohs.

Ahly out to lavish Champions League deceit

A day later Ahly will also have a tough challenge against Enppi. A clash that occurs just five days after the Red Devils’ sorrow exit from the CAF Champions’ League group stage.

Manuel Jose’s men have been under fierce criticism after their poor run in the competition and now they vow to fire back.

“We won’t replay now, but we will talk after winning Egypt’s Cup title in two weeks,” Ahly’s talisman Mohamed Abou-Treika told reporters in training ground last Sunday.

Ahly made a spending spree this summer signing forwards Walid Soliman (ENPPI), Abdullah El-Saied (Ismaily), Brazilian Fabio Junior (Naval, Portugal), El-Sayed Hamdi (Petrojet), defender Mohamed Naguib (Ittihad El-Shorta) and left winger Ahmed Shedid (Masry).

The new signings are expected to give thoughtful Jose plenty of options and it would be a real shame if this star-studded team wouldn’t fulfil the dreams of their success-hungry fans.

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