Preview: Pacheco to make second Zamalek debut against Masry

Ahram Online , Wednesday 30 Sep 2020

Jaime Pacheco returns to Zamalek for a second spell (Photo: Zamalek's official Facebook page)

Jaime Pacheco will lead Zamalek from the dugout for the first time following his arrival to succeed Frenchman Patrice Carteron as the team continue their pursuit of a second-place finish against Masry on Thursday.

The Portuguese boss begins his second spell in charge of Zamalek, whom he briefly led in late 2014 before abruptly leaving the club to take charge of Saudi club Al-Shabab on 1 January, 2015.

Zamalek turned to Pacheco in a rescue mission as they target their first African Champions League crown since 2022. Carteron, who rescinded his contract to join Saudi side Al Taawoun, led the White Knights to the semi-final with a cautious strategy, mainly banking on the team's counter-attacking abilities.

During his previous stint in charge of Zamalek, Pacheco displayed similar features as his side were renowned for their defensive solidity.

He was in the stands when Zamalek secured a thrilling 4-3 victory over Gouna on Sunday via a last-gasp penalty, but he must have realized he has a lot of work to do to ensure the team would not ship such soft goals.

"I am happy and proud to return back here. I returned this time with greater passion," said Pacheco.

Zamalek are locked in a tight battle with Pyramids FC for the league's runners-up spot, which earns qualification for next year's Champions League. The Cairo giants lead third-placed Pyramids by one point with four matches remaining.

Masry, on the other hand, are fighting for their safety at the opposite end of the table as they lie 13th in the table with 33 points, just three ahead of the drop zone although they still have two games in hand.

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