Preview: High-flying Ahly eyeing third win in difficult Egyptian league run-in

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Sunday 11 Dec 2016

Ahly's key defender Rami Rabia will be available for the first time this season after regaining full fitness

Ahly's Abdalla El-Saied (Al-Ahram)

Ahly are determined not to drop points in a difficult run-in and they will be looking to continue their impressive run when they meet ENPPI on Monday.

The title holders, who are also eyeing an eighth successive win, emerged winners from the first two matches of a tough five-game schedule before a lengthy Egyptian league break next month as the national team prepare to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations. 

They started the difficult run-in by beating nearest challengers Maqassa 1-0 in a hard-fought match before overcoming fourth-placed Smouha by the same score via a last-gasp header from defender Saad Samir. They meet ENPPI before facing in-form Masry and arch rivals Zamalek in the Cairo derby. 

Ahly lead the Egyptian league table with 38 points after 14 matches, seven clear of second-placed Maqassa who still have one match in hand. Ennpi are 13th on 13 points but have always proved a tough nut to crack against Ahly.

The Red Devils are still unbeaten this season; winning 12 matches and drawing twice. 

Enppi will be battling for their first victory since beating Masry 3-1 on 27 October. They lost five games and drew three times in eight league matches.

Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry has recently said that the team's upcoming three matches would be “very tough.”

"Ahly respects all teams in the competition. The first round of the league is ending with a very tough three matches and our target is winning as many points as possible," El-Badry told his club's official website on Saturday.

"Enppi is a strong and organised team. They have very good players and coaches but we are determined to win the three points," he added.

On Monday, Ahly welcome back skipper Hossam Ghaly after he recovered from injury and key defender Rami Rabia will also be available for the first time this season after regaining full fitness.

Influential Left back Ali Maaloul is suffering from fatigue and will be rested by El-Badry. Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi, defender Ahmed Hegazy will be out due to injury.

Enppi will be missing experienced keeper Mohamed Abdel Monsef, left-back Amr Elhalawani, central defender Ibrahim Yahia and Guinean striker Keoulen Lamah due to injuries. 

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