Zamalek will be looking to atone for a stunning Egyptian Premier League defeat when they meet Ittihad in a tough game on Sunday as they seek to put pressure on chasers and defending champions Ahly.
With Ahly away for the Club World Cup in Qatar, Zamalek had a chance to open up a significant gap on top. However, they threw away their lead to slump to a surprise 2-1 defeat by promoted Ghazl El-Mahalla last Tuesday.
They once again paid for wasting some easy goal-scoring chances and a defensive mix-up cost them at the death after Mahalla scored a stoppage-time winner.
The White Knights remain on top with 23 points, two ahead of Ahly, who have a game in hand.
Ittihad are likely to prove a tough nut to crack, having crushed Maqassa 4-0 in their previous game after recovering from several coronavirus infections.
Two of their on-loan players are wreaking havoc upfront -- Zamalek's Ivorian winger Razack Cisse and Ahly playmaker Ammar Hamdi.
Cisse, who had his loan deal extended for another season by Ittihad in the summer, scored four goals in the opening seven games of the season. The Alexandria-based club lie 11th in the table with 11 points from seven matches.
Zamalek will have to do without three regulars against Ittihad.
Tunisian midfielder Ferjani Sassi is out after receiving a red card against Mahalla while defender Mohamed Abdel-Ghani and Moroccan winger Achraf Bencharki will miss the match due to injuries.
Two new signings could make their Zamalek debut as Tunisian forward Seifeddine Jaziri and striker Marwan Hamdi were included in their squad.
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