Preview: Zamalek worried over injuries amid fixture congestion in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Saturday 5 Sep 2020

Zamalek v Pyramids
Zamalek defeated Pyramids, their direct challengers for second place, 2-0 on Thursday (Photo: Zamalek's official Facebook page)

With a vital African Champions League semi-final clash looming, Zamalek are growing increasingly worried over the prospect of losing any of their key players to injury as they also fight to finish second in the domestic league.

Zamalek take on Talae El-Geish on Sunday in a buoyant mood, having beaten Pyramids FC, their direct rivals for second place, 2-0 on Thursday to go three points ahead of them in second, although they will be deducted three points at the end of the season for failing to show up for a Cairo derby meeting with Ahly in February.

But fixture congestion is starting to take its toll on Zamalek, who also meet Morocco's Raja in a two-legged Champions League semi-final on 25 September.

Full-backs Hazem Emam and Mohamed Abdel-Shafi as well as central defender Mahmoud Hamdi were all injured, with Abdel-Shafi unlikely to feature against Raja after fracturing his collarbone in Zamalek's 3-1 derby victory over Ahly last month.

Zamalek will be looking to maintain their winning run at the expense of El-Geish as they target finishing second to earn a spot in the African Champions League next season without having to win this year's African title.

They will have to tread carefully though, with French coach Patrice Carteron likely to rotate his squad to avoid any further injuries before the Raja clash.

"Our primary target this season is to win the Champions League," the club's chairman Mortada Mansour said.

El-Geish will be eager to avoid defeat as they lie 12th in the table with 26 points, five above the relegation zone.

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