Preview: Mosimane back for Ahly as they look to maintain perfect league start

Ahram Online , Sunday 27 Dec 2020

Ahly will be eyeing their third win from as many games when they face Ittihad of Alexandria in the Egyptian Premier League on Monday

File photo of Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane (Photo: the club's official website)

Pitso Mosimane will lead Ahly from the dugout again after recovering from a COVID-19 infection as the club look to maintain their perfect start to the defence of their Egyptian Premier League crown.

The Red Devils face Ittihad of Alexandria on Monday after opening their campaign with wins over Maqassa and Ghazl El-Mahalla.

South African boss Mosimane, who missed the win over promoted Mahalla after contracting the highly-contagious virus, has presided over some entertaining displays since his arrival in October.

Under his guidance, the team combined fine results with an attractive brand of football to win the coveted African Champions League and the Egypt Cup.

Mosimane is also trying to further mold his team into a powerful attacking unit, replacing a traditional number nine with a more deep-lying forward in Mohamed Sherif, whose runs behind opposing backlines and goal-scoring instincts have given Ahly a new weapon upfront.

Sherif, back from a loan spell with Enppi, scored twice and provided an assist in the opening two games of the season.

Although Ahly are favourites to maintain their winning start, Ittihad are likely to prove a tough nut to crack. The Alexandria team have notably improved under coach Hossam Hassan and gave Ahly a run for their money when they met in the Egypt Cup semifinal on 1 December.

They went ahead via goal from in-form Ivorian winger Razack Cisse but Ahly overturned the result with two second-half goals.

Cisse, who is loan from Zamalek, is Ittihad's standout performer, with his tireless runs and trickery down the left flank a great asset for the team, who collected four points from their first two matches of the season.

Ahly are still missing regular duo Amr El-Sulaya and Magdi Afsha, both of whom tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month.

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