Preview: Zamalek to field weakened side against Tanta in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Saturday 4 Jan 2020

Zamalek defeated Aswan 2-0 in their previous Egyptian league game (Photo: Al-Ahram)

With one eye on an African Champions League clash next week, Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron decided to field a weakened side in Sunday's Egyptian Premier League game against lowly Tanta.

The Cairo giants, who have slim hopes to challenge perennial rivals Ahly for the league title, ended a three-match winless run after beating Aswan 2-0 on Thursday.

They would be eager to grab another victory to edge closer to the second spot, which is occupied by surprise package Arab Contractors, but it seems Carteron's thoughts are mainly on Saturday's Champions League clash at home to Zambia's Zesco United.

However, if recent history is anything to go by, Zamalek must be cautious against Tanta. The last time they rested key regulars under Carteron's predecessor Micho , they were held to a 1-1 draw by promoted FC Masr in October.

French boss Carteron left out a host of key players, including central defender Mahmoud Alaa and in-form striker Mostafa Mohamed.

Regular central midfield pair Ferjani Sassi and Tarek Hamed will also miss out due to automatic suspension.

"I will start rotating my players to avoid exhaustion," Carteron said following the victory over Aswan.

Tanta, who made a poor start to the season, lie 15th in the table with 10 points, just one clear of the relegation zone.

Zamalek are fourth on 18 points, seven behind Contractors, who played a game more, and nine adrift of leaders Ahly, who still have a match in hand.

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