Preview: Pacheco's job on the line as Zamalek face Ceramica Cleopatra in Egyptian league

Ahram Online , Wednesday 10 Mar 2021

Reports suggest Pacheco will be shown the door following Zamalek's Egyptian Premier League game against Ceramica Cleopatra

Jaime Pacheco
File photo of Zamalek coach Jaime Pacheco

Jaime Pacheco's job as Zamalek boss is under serious threat as the team take on top-flight debutants Ceramica Cleopatra in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday.

Widespread reports suggested that Zamalek are already lining up Frenchman Patrice Carteron, who abruptly left the club in September last year, as a replacement.

The club have not commented on the news but Pacheco could lead Zamalek for the last time when they meet Ceramica Cleopatra.

The Portuguese coach embarked on a rescue mission when he replaced Carteron last year, with the team in the semi-final stage of the African Champions League and fighting with Pyramids FC for a runners-up spot in the domestic league.

He helped them finish second in the league and steered them to a place in the Champions League final following a semi-final victory over Morocco's Raja but Zamalek suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to bitter Cairo rivals Ahly to miss out on the coveted title.

Zamalek also exited the Egypt Cup at the semi-final stage but made a fine start to their new league campaign.

They top the table with a three-point lead over Ahly, who have two matches in hand, but a disappointing start to their Champions League group-stage campaign raised questions over Pacheco's future.

Zamalek failed to win any of their first three games in Group D, drawing twice against MC Alger and Senegal's Teungueth before losing 3-1 to Tunisia's Esperance away from home. They now can't afford more stumbles if they area to reach the knockout phase.

Regardless of whether Pacheco will remain in his job, Zamalek need to beat Ceramica Cleopatra to avoid losing any ground on defending champions Ahly.

Ceramica Cleopatra have fared well so far in their maiden season in the top flight as they lie eighth in the 18-team table with 21 points.

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