Preview: Zamalek look to pile up pressure on leaders Ahly against lowly Taadin

Omar Zaazou , Thursday 23 Feb 2017

Zamalek are 12 points adrift of league leaders Ahly who played two games more

Ayman Hefni netted twice against Talae El-Geish (Photo: Ahram)

Zamalek will be hoping to build on last week's 3-2 win over Talae El-Geish and pile up pressure on league leaders Ahly when they meet second-from-bottom Nasr Taadin at Petrosport Stadium on Friday.

Buoyed up by their Super Cup victory over Ahly nearly a fortnight ago, Zamalek were expected to capitalize on their arch-rivals' goalless league draw with Ismaily and beat El-Entag El-Harby a few days later.

An unexpected 2-1 defeat, however, landed the Zamalek squad and management in hot water – with the club's board holding an emergency meeting to discuss the future of first-team coach Mohamed Helmi.

Helmi eventually remained in charge of the Whites, and despite initially going to a one goal down to Geish, the Cairo giants replied with three goals - thanks to an exquisite double from fit-again Ayman Hefni.

Taadin, on the other side, will be looking to get something from the game against their fancied opponents, with the league newcomers currently 17th on 10 points.

Team news

Zamalek skipper Shikabala returns after a row with the club's board and management has finally been contained, having missed his side's last four games including the Super Cup win.

Both winger Ahmed Refaat and versatile defender Ahmed Tawfik are sidelined with respective injuries, as the absence of left-back Mohamed Nassef continues due to a foot problem.

In-form full-back Osama Ibrahim returns to occupy the right-back slot, but Zamalek will be missing midfielder Mahmoud Abdel-Aati for two weeks due to a thigh injury.

Zamalek are currently third of the league standings with 37 points, 12 behind leaders Ahly who played two games more.      

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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