Preview: Reigning champions Ahly face tough test at league leaders Ismaily

Omar Zaazou , Sunday 19 Nov 2017

Ahly will visit league leaders Ismaily at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium on Monday at 19:00 CLT

File photo of an Egyptian Premier League game between Ahly and Ismaily (Ahram)

Defending champions Ahly will be facing their first real test in their bid to retain their Egyptian league title when they face leaders Ismaily at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium on Monday.

In a rescheduled game from the fourth week due to Ahly's Champions League commitment, the Reds will be looking for their fourth league win in a row when they visit their bitter-foes - who are unbeaten in eight games.

Ahly have so far played only four league fixtures, winning three times and drawing once, with the Ismaily clash the first of five rescheduled games.

The Dervishes, on the other hand, managed to win six and draw only twice under the guidance of French boss Sébastien Desabre so far this season.

Colombian striker Diego Calderon has been declared fit to play against Ahly following a knee injury he sustained in last week's 1-0 victory over Tanta, where he scored his side's winner.

Ahly, meanwhile, will be missing the services of influential Tunisia left-back Ali Maaloul who looks to have aggravated a hamstring injury while on international duty.

Egypt center-back Rami Rabia is also sidelined due to a pelvic problem alongside keeper Sherif Ekramy.

The absence of Rabia leaves manager Hossam El-Badry with only one recognized center-back in Saad Samir, with natural full-back Ayman Ashraf likely to be shifted now to the middle.

Striker Phakamani Mahlambi makes the squad for the first time this season after joining in the summer from South Africa's Bidvest Wits.

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