Soccer Football - Egyptian Super Cup - Al Ahly v Zamalek - Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria, Egypt - September 20, 2019 Al Ahly's Hussein El Shahat in action with Zamalek's Mohamed Abdelshafi REUTERS
Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek will face off in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, where both sides will be chasing the Egyptian Super Cup title.
Egypt champions Ahly are looking to confirm their superiority against archrival Zamalek, while Cup winners Zamalek will seek revenge against Ahly and are looking for another title this week after clinching the CAF Super Cup title at the expense of Champions League winners Esperance de Tunis on Friday.
Ahly are the record winners of the Egyptian Super Cup with 11 titles, while Zamalek are looking for the fourth Super Cup title in their history.
Even with a former Ahly coach and a recent CAF Super Cup title, Zamalek will not need reminding of the haunting memories of last September when they lost 2-3 to Ahly in the Egyptian Super Cup in Cairo.
The White Knights, who were favoured to win the game, slumped to a 2-3 defeat in a match completely dominated by their rivals.
This defeat was one of the reasons that cost the former team's coach Milutin Sredojevic his post, and he lost his job as Zamalek manager one month later.
Current coach Patrice Carteron, who is a former Ahly boss, will be looking to avoid the scenario of his predecessor and guide his side to victory in the Egyptian Super Cup.
The Frenchman was praised after directing a tactical game that helped his side win the CAF Super Cup title against Esperance, the winners of the two previous editions of the Champions League.
The White Knights fans' are waiting for a similar performance against Ahly.
"I'm proud of the African Super Cup title, which was reached after a long time, and I hope we win more titles in the future," Carteron told the pre-match news conference on Wednesday.
"The Zamalek and Ahly players know each other well, and have faced each other on many occasions in the league and the cup. Their games are always a completely different situation," the Frenchman said when asked if his previous knowledge of Ahly players will be an advantage for his side.
It is likely that the Frenchman will keep the same team that played against Esperance, especially with the good performance of players like Moroccan forward Achraf Bencharki, who hit a brace against the Tunisian side, and Ahmed Sayed.
On the other hand, Ahly, who are the favourite to win the game after their good displays in the Egyptian league, will be looking to win the title that will give the team a huge morale boost ahead of their Champions League clash against Sundowns of South Africa.
Ahly extended their unbeaten run in the Egyptian league this season to 15 games, and a win against rivals Zamalek will be much needed to confirm the superiority of the team.
Classy winger Ramadan Sobhi will not be available for Thursday's clash, as he is yet to recover from a hamstring injury.
Reports said that he is fit for the game but Ahly's coach confirmed on Wednesday that the player will not participate.
Sobhi's absence will not be a huge loss, however, especially given that he has been out of action for around two months and the team has produced many fine displays despite his absence.
Coach Rene Weiler confirmed that the game will be difficult for both sides, denying any advantages of his side.
But Ahly fans are optimistic for their coach, who led the team to beating Zamalek in the previous Super Cup in his first local appearance with Ahly.
"The Super Cup match against Zamalek is a very important game and it is totally different than other matches in the Egyptian League and the African Champions League," Weiler said in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
"With my full respect to Zamalek coach Carteron, I am dealing with the opponent as a whole team, not only a coach or players. Ahly has prepared well for this match and can win.
"The confrontation with Zamalek this time is completely different than the one last year, and every match has its own preparations," he concluded.