Preview: Ahly still playing catch-up to leaders Zamalek in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Feb 2019

(Photo: Al-Ahram)

Ahly will be looking for their seventh straight win in the Egyptian league on Wednesday when they face Dakhleya at El-Salam stadium as still play catch-up to leaders Zamalek.

The 40-time Egyptian champions, winners of the past three league editions, are third in the table with 42 points, nine behind leaders Zamalek who played one match more and three points behind Pyramids FC.

However, they will leapfrog Pyramids into second if they beat Dakhleya Ahly after the big-spending club slumped to a surprise 2-1 defeat by Gouna on Tuesday.

Ahly's mission will not be easy, given that lively winger Ramadan Sobhi, who is on loan from Huddersfield Town, will not be available due to automatic suspension.

The 22-year-old has put in some convincing displays since his January arrival and it remains to be seen whether Hussein El-Shahat, Ahly's record signing, would be able to fill his void, given that he so far produced some subdued performances.

Ahly welcome back striker Marwan Mohsen, who has been out of action since picking up an injury in the 2-1 loss to Pyramids on 4 January.

Dakhleya will be looking to replicate the form that saw him hold Ahly to a 2-2 draw in an exciting match in December. Their coach Alaa Abdel-Aal said that his side are determined to earn a positive result despite the difficulties they encountered ahead of the game.

Midfielder Mohamed Makhlouf is serving a four-match ban while key players Eslam Gaber and Emmanuel Karbogi remain doubtful after picking up knocks in training.

"Despite the difficulties, will we will fight fiercely during the game to earn a positive result. It is true that our mission will not be easy but we will do our best to improve our situation in the league table," Abdel-Aal  told reporters on Tuesday.

Dakhleya are struggling at the wrong end of the table as they lie 14th with 22 points, just one point ahead of the relegation zone.

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