Preview: Stuttering Zamalek aim to keep the momentum going after two wins

Ahram Online , Friday 29 Dec 2017

Zamalek beat Arab Contractors 1-0 in their previous Egyptian Premier League game last Tuesday (Ahram)

Zamalek are starting to believe they are still in with a chance to compete for the Egyptian Premier League but they need to keep the momentum going if they are to cling on to the coat-tails of Ismaily and Ahly on top.

The White Knights take on ninth-placed Assiouty Sport in an afternoon kick-off in the Upper Egyptian city of Assiout on Saturday, hoping to build on their recent improvement.

Zamalek’s stuttering form almost sealed the fate of Montenegrin coach Nebojsa Jovovic following a three-match winless run in November and early December but, once given another chance, he masterminded two consecutive wins over Ittihad and Arab Contractors to bring the team back on track.

They are now in fourth place with 25 points, 12 behind Ismaily but with two matches in hand over the league leaders.

Zamalek are also eight points adrift of second-placed Ahly, with both sides playing the same number of games.

They can’t afford to drop any points if they are to remain in the hunt. They meet Assiouty and Talae El-Geish before facing Ahly in the Cairo derby on 8 January.

“I’m only thinking of the coming game against Assiouty. It’s premature to have any talks with the players over the Ahly match,” Jovovic told Zamalek’s official website.

Zamalek will have to do without their regular full-backs when they face Assiouty.

Syrian left-back Moayad Ajan and skipper Hazem Emam were both left out of the squad due to injury and automatic suspension respectively.

Playmaker Mohamed Ibrahim was also ruled out amid accusations from the club’s outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour that he had feigned an injury.

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