Soccer Football - Egyptian Super Cup - Al Ahly v Zamalek - Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt - September 20, 2019 Al Ahly's Ahmed Fathi and team mates celebrate winning the Egyptian Super Cup with the trophy REUTERS
Ahly, fresh from an impressive 3-2 Super Cup victory over Zamalek, launch their bid to win the Egyptian Premier League for the fifth straight season against Smouha in Alexandria on Monday.
The Red Devils produced a brilliant attacking display in their second match under Swiss coach Rene Weiler to outclass their perennial challengers in the season curtain-raiser on Friday, sending an early statement of intent.
Last season, they managed to bridge an eight-point gap to deprive Zamalek of their first league title since 2015 and maintain their dominance of the premier domestic competition, which they won a staggering 41 times.
Ahly can take heart from the superb display of Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi against Zamalek as he scored twice and proved a handful with his moves, turns and unique ability to keep the ball under control.
Hamdi Fathi is also coming across as a solid defensive midfielder, replacing ageing skipper Hossam Ashour who is way past his prime.
With Ahly also signing another midfielder in Malian Aliou Dieng, playmaker Magdi Afsha and central defender Mahmoud Metwalli, they look well-equipped to defend their title.
"We are now fully focused on the league campaign. The new technical staff arrived just two weeks ago but we are fully ready," Ashour, a long-serving midfielder, said following the win over Zamalek.
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