Preview: Egyptian league holders Ahly still baffled over lack of firepower

Ahram Online , Saturday 29 Oct 2016

Ahly 0-0 Petrojet
Ahly were held to a 0-0 draw by Petrojet in their last Egyptian Premier League game (Ahram)

Ahly are still finding it difficult to make up for the summer departure of Gabonese striker Malick Evouna as they eye a sixth Egyptian Premier League win in seven matches at the expense of Ittihad of Alexandria on Sunday.

Only one goal out of the nine Ahly have scored so far this season came from a striker – Ghanaian John Antwi who is still struggling to prove his worth.

Winger Moemen Zakareya is the team's top scorer with three goals but Ahly will have to find a reliable frontman if they are to increase their firepower.

They signed Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi as a replacement for the prolific Evouna, who joined China's Tianjin Teda in the summer, but the 20-year-old has only made a few appearances, including in the 0-0 draw with Petrojet in Ahly's previous league game that ended their five-match winning run.

"I'm happy with Ajayi's performance against Petrojet because he was good in linking up with his teammates. I'm rotating the strikers to find a solution to the scarcity of goals," Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry said.

Ahly take on an Ittihad side who made an impressive start to the season by their standards, collecting 12 points from their opening six matches.

"Dropping two points is not the end of the world. This is normal for any team and we've already turned the page of our draw with Petrojet," the Red Devils' assistant coach Ahmed Ayoub said on the club's website.

"We always look forward and we are now only thinking about our match against Ittihad."

Ahly will welcome back influential Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul after he recovered from injury but defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour is out.

Antwi has been left out of Ahly's squad for "technical reasons", the club said.

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