Preview: Zamalek need to be more efficient in tight second-place fight

Ahram Online , Friday 14 Aug 2020

Zamalek v Ittihad
Zamalek were held to a 1-1 draw by Ittihad after conceding a late goal (Photo: Zamalek's official Facebook page)

Zamalek will need to be more clinical when they face Maqassa on Saturday to fend off competition from Pyramids in a tight fight for second place in the Egyptian Premier League.

The White Knights paid for their wastefulness in their previous match, conceding a stoppage-time goal in a 1-1 draw with Ittihad after squandering a plethora of goal-scoring chances.

They were harshly punished, with Ittihad finding the net in their only attack of a game totally dominated by Zamalek, whose only realistic hope is to finish second and earn a spot in the African Champions League.

The big-spending, Emirati-owned Pyramids FC look to be a real threat as they moved level on 35 points with Zamalek in second place, 17 behind runaway leaders Ahly.

Zamalek are now aware any further dropped points could prove costly.

However, they will still be favourites to overcome a Maqassa side who lie 14th in the 18-team table with a meager 17 points from 18 matches.

Zamalek are still missing influential deep-lying forward Youssef 'Obama' Ibrahim, who has yet to recover from injury.

But they can now start with influential Moroccan duo Achraf Bencharki and Mohamed Ounajem, who were introduced in the second half against Ittihad as they were still short of match fitness following their late arrival from Morocco.

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