Preview: Ahly to rest key players in Masry game ahead of crucial Coton match

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 3 Jul 2017

Ahly and El-masry (Al-Ahram)
Ahly and El-masry (Al-Ahram)

Champions Ahly will be resting some key players when they face rivals Masry in the Egyptian Premiere League on Tuesday, as the Reds prepare for a crucial test in the African Champions league on Saturday.

Ahly arrived in Cairo from Lusaka early on Monday following a 0-0 draw against Zambia's Zanaco on Saturday in the fifth round of the Champions League group stage.

After the rejection of his club's calls to postpone the domestic match, the Reds coach Hossam El-Badry now has no other choice but to continue his recent rotation policy to give his key squad more rest ahead of Saturday's match with Cameroon's Coton Sport.

The coach has already given the players who faced Zanaco permission to miss a Monday training session; paving the way for less regular players like Saleh Gomaa and Amr Gamal to prove their worth on Tuesday.  

Ahly, who secured their 39th league title a month ago, will be in a must-win situation when they host Coton at home to ensure a place at Champions League last eight.

"No comment," El-Badry replied when asked about failing to delay the Masry game.

"I will not even speak about our preparations for the league match, as we want to keep our full concentration on the Coton game," he said.

"We have to be fully focused on winning and reaching the Champions league last eight. Coton will be playing seriously to avenge their 2-0 defeat [in May in the second round of the group stage]," the coach said.

Against Masry, Ahly will be looking to continue their run and return to winning ways after holding to a 2-2 draw in the last game with Enppi.

Beating the Port Said-based club will be the best boost for the Red Devils ahead of the continental test, but the costal side, guided by veteran coach Hossam Hassan, is never an easy opponent.

Fourth-placed Masry has not lost a single game in their last seven league matches. The team won in four games and reached a draw in the other three.

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