File photo of Ahly's veteran striker Emad Meteb (Ahram)
Veteran striker Emad Meteb returned to Ahly's squad for the first time in over two months but he is unlikely to challenge for a starting spot as Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi continues his recent impressive form.
Ahly will be eyeing a fifth straight victory when they host lowly Sharqeya on Wednesday. A win will help them keep their place on top after surprise package Maqassa were held to a 1-1 draw by Ittihad of Alexandria on Tuesday.
The future of 33-year-old striker Meteb has come under security after he was repeatedly snubbed by coach Hossam El-Badry. Reports suggested that he would leave after he allegedly reacted angrily to being left out of Ahly's squad for another league game earlier this month.
He was last named in the team's roster when they defeated Arab Contractors 2-0 in September but was kept on the bench.
El-Badry poured cold water on speculation linking Meteb with a move away from the club but it remains difficult for the former Egyptian international to break into the starting line-up, given the current fine form of Ajayi.
The 20-year-old, who joined from Tunisia's Sfaxien in the summer, scored four league goals, including three in the last three matches and was praised by El-Badry for linking up well with his teammates.
Meteb remains a fan favourite, having been a key player of a golden generation that won a host of domestic and continental titles from 2005 to 2014. He is best known for netting many vital and last-gasp goals, including a headed winner which gave the club their first CAF Confederation Cup triumph three years ago.
Ahly are unlikely to face a real test against Sharqeya, who lie third from bottom with seven points from 10 matches.
The Red Devils, who are eyeing an 11th league triumph in 10 seasons, will miss first-choice goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy due to injury.
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