Preview: New-look Zamalek to start Egyptian Premier League campaign with Petrojet test

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 30 Jul 2018

Zamalek
File Photo: Zamalek midfielder Emad Fathi celebrates after scoring the first goal against Tanta (Photo: Ahram)

Zamalek are set to test their new signings when they face Petrojet on Tuesday on the first day of the Egyptian Premier League.

Under the helm of new Swiss coach Christian Gross, the Whites made a number of signings during the summer transfer window.

"I will give Zamalek all my energy. I respect all opponents, but I know Zamalek fans only know victories and championships," Gross was quoted as saying by the club's official website.

"Just like in chess, in football, we want to win our games. I told the players—we play to win. From what I saw, football here is very aggressive and physical and emotional. We have to channel our energy and control our emotions in our hands," the 63-year-old Swiss coach stressed.

The veteran manager, who is said to be the highest paid coach in the Egyptian league, called newly signed Moroccan forward Hamid Ahaddad to join the team's squad for the Petrojet clash.

Egypt national team forward Mahmoud "Kahraba" Abdel-Moneim and midfielder Mostafa Fathi have also been included in the squad for the opener; the pair’s loan deals in Saudi Arabia ended last season.

The Cairo giants are coping with the absence of veteran midfielders Tarek Hamed and Mahmoud Alaa, after management suspended them due to contract negotiations.

New arrival Tunisian defensive midfielder Ferjani Sassi won’t be on the squad as he is not yet ready.

Zamalek held a closed camp in Germany last month as part of their preparations for the new season.

The Cairo team, who have had a series of different coaches over the last few seasons, won the Egypt Cup last season after finishing the Egyptian Premier League in the fourth place with 61 points, 27 behind winners Ahly, whom they are to meet in the Super Cup.

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