Preview: Zamalek missing Tunisian duo, Congolese Kasongo in league game

Ahram Online , Wednesday 21 Nov 2018

Zamalek right-back Hamdi Nagguez (File photo: the club's official Facebook page)

Leaders Zamalek will have to do without three of their key international players when they meet Dakhleya in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday as they seek to maintain their winning run.

Tunisian duo Hamdi Nagguez and Ferjani Sassi are rested for the match, having taken part in their national team's 1-0 defeat by Morocco in a friendly on Tuesday.

Zamalek will also miss regular striker Kabongo Kasongo, who has returned late from international duty after scoring in DR Congo's 1-1 draw with Congo in an African Nations Cup qualifier earlier this week.

Omar El-Said is likely to replace Kasongo as a lone striker, with skipper Hazem Emam taking Nagguez's place as a right-back and Mahmoud Abdel-Aziz playing as a central midfielder instead of the in-form Sassi.

Zamalek are enjoying a fine run of form, producing some convincing displays that prompted many pundits to tip them for the league title this season.

They have won the past four league matches, including two comeback victories.

"The coming phase is very important because we will play in three competitions," Zamalek's coach Christian Gross said, referring to the Arab Champions Cup and the African Confederation Cup.

"My players should maintain their concentration levels and remain focused as a hectic schedule of matches awaits us."

Zamalek are on top of the table with 26 points, three ahead of second-placed Maqassa who played three matches more. However, with Zamalek's arch-rivals Ahly having a handful of rescheduled games, it's not yet clear how the race will be defined.

Dakhleya lie ninth with 16 points from 13 matches.

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