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Preview: Ahly four wins short of Egyptian Premier League triumph

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 May 2016
Ahly defeated Italy's AS Roma 4-3 in an exciting friendly game held in the UAE last Friday (the club's official Facebook page)
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Egypt and Africa's most successful club Ahly will be looking to move a step closer to a routine league triumph when they meet modest side Arab Contractors on Wednesday.

Providing that defending champions Zamalek win their remaining five matches, Ahly need four more wins out of their last six games to secure a ninth league title in 10 season.

Ahly's eight-season hegemony were ended by Zamalek last season but the Red Devils look close to making sure their Cairo rivals will not be able to defend their title.

Zamalek are derided by Ahly's supporters as an underachieving side who are never able to challenge their nemesis and the White Knights suffered the adverse effects of six coaching changes this season, with their stuttering form paving the way for Ahly to open up an 11-point lead on top.

Although this gap was trimmed to eight points following a surprise 1-0 loss Ahly suffered against Wadi Degla, it remains too big to be bridged in the final stages of the season.

Ahly are unlikely to be troubled by a poor Contractors side, who ensured their Premier League safety but are not yet a force that could unsettle fancied sides.

Contractors, one of Egypt's leading clubs in the 1980s, slumped to a 3-1 loss to Ahly in the reverse league fixture in January.

Ahly will miss goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy after he picked up an injury in training but midfield Saleh Gomaa and playmaker Ahmed El-Sheikh are back in the squad after impressing in an exciting friendly against AS Roma.

Gomaa produced a fine display in the heart of Ahly's midfield and substitute El-Sheikh scored a stoppage-time winner as Ahly defeated Roma 4-3 in the United Arab Emirates last Friday.

The squad includes two strikers in Gabon's Malick Evouna and Ghana's John Antwi as Amr Gamal and the veteran Emad Meteb were left out.

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