Ahly and Ismaily. Al-Ahram
With eight points remaining to secure the Egyptian Premier League title and claim an early trophy, Ahly are bidding to collect three of those points when they host Ismaily in the 26th matchday at Borg El-Arab stadium on Friday.
Egyptian Premier League leaders Ahly are in the driving seat of the league's teams table with 68 points, 17 points over runners-up Zamalek while Ismaily are in the 10th place after playing 24 games so far this season.
The two sides faced off in 116 times in all Egyptian competions in their history with Ahly claiming the victory in 60 games and Ismaily in 22 matches, while drawing in 34 games.
The Red Devils, who have 41 league titles in their bag, scored 169 goals against Ismaily while the Dervishes, who claimed the title only three times, found Ahly's nets 94 times in those match ups.
Ahly enjoy a stretch of victories after three consecutive wins, over Gouna 1-0, Masry 2-0, and Haras El-Hodoud 2-0.
"I am happy to achieve our target as it's good to allow some players to play in different positions and ready them to be good replacements for their teammates," Ahly’s Swiss coach Rene Weiler said after the win over Haras El-Hodoud.
"I did not choose to make these changes in the players' positions but the players' absentee due to injuries and suspension forced us to change some players' roles," Weiler added.
The Red Devils will welcome back their talented winger Mahmoud “Kahraba” Abdel-Moneim after serving a ten-match ban for his misconduct with Zamalek players during the Egyptian Super Cup game last February.
"Kahraba was out of action for a long time and it will be difficult to book a regular place in the squad since he needs time to perform; but he could participate for a few minutes during the game against Ismaily," the Ahly coach said.
Key midfielder Amr El Sulaya has also been included in the squad after recovering from a muscle injury that kept him on the sidelines over the past three games.
Meanwhile, Ismaily has appointed Brazilian coach Heron Ricardo, for a third spell, replacing axed French tactician Didier Gomes Da Rosa. However the Brazilian will watch the game from the stands as interim coach Mohamed Homos will lead the team during this game.
The Dervishes fired coach Gomes Da Rosa last week due to the team's poor results in the Egyptian Premier league as they lie in 10th place in the table with 30 points after playing 24 games.
Ismaily lost 10 games, won 8 and drew in 6 games so far this season.
"After signing the contracts, Ricardo will fly to Alexandria to follow up on the team's preparations for the Ahly clash in the Egyptian Premier League," read a statement on Ismaily official website.
Ismaily will lose the service of international defender Baher Elmohamady, who has not recovered from an injury that sidelined him since last week.
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