Preview: Egypt's Zamalek out to avoid Champions League upset

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Oct 2019

Zamalek host Senegal's Generation Foot at Cairo's Al-Salam Stadium in the second leg of the African Champions League preliminary round for a place in the group stage

Zamalek lost 2-1 to Generation Foot in the first leg (Ahram)

Egypt's Zamalek cannot afford any slip-up as they aim to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit when they host Senegal's Generation Foot in the African Champions League in Cairo on Thursday.

Generation Foot finally agreed to play the game after declining to show up at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium last month after the second leg of the competition's second preliminary round was delayed for one day.

The visitors argued that the sudden date change had violated the regulations of CAF, while Zamalek cited a letter from the African governing body that sanctioned the postponement.

After protracted deliberations, CAF finally decided to re-schedule the match for a second time, having failed to blame either side.

Generation Foot initially sought to be awarded a win but backtracked following CAF's decision. They will be hoping to cause an upset and eliminate five-time African champions Zamalek.

The Cairo giants have been inconsistent lately, producing some uninspiring displays. Although they made a fine start under Serbian coach Micho by winning the Egypt Cup, they slumped to a stunning 2-1 defeat at the unfancied Generation Foot in the first leg and only spared their blushes via a late goal from striker Mostafa Mohamed.

In the domestic league, they won three out of their first four matches but were far from convincing. They were also held to a 1-1 draw by top-flight debutants FC Masr.

Micho has yet to settle on his ideal starting line-up, with his frequent tweaks a cause of concern for Zamalek's fans.

The White Knights will miss Moroccan winger Mohamed Ounajem after they failed to register him in time for the preliminary rounds, but they welcome back Mostafa Fathi following a lengthy injury layoff.

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