Preview: Race for Egyptian League title reaches final phase as Ahly face Ceramica Cleopatra

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 6 Aug 2021

The Egyptian Premier League title holders, Ahly have no room for errors in their remaining seven games as the title race is in the final stage

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Ahly will welcome back a couple of key players when they face Ceramica Cleopatra on Saturday with no margin of errors as the Egyptian Premier League race reaches a climax. 

The defending champions are aware they can hardly afford to drop any points in their remaining seven games if they are to win a sixth successive title.

They are locked with Cairo rivals Zamalek on 61 points at the top of the table, although they have the head-to-head advantage.

Ahly played the previous four games in the league without key men, as their six Egypt U-23 players were playing for the national team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Young Pharaohs were eliminated in the quarters after losing 1-0 to Brazil.

"Ahly coach Mosimane told the players that they have to concentrate on the coming games as the team have to win all the games to secure the league title," assistant coach Sami Komsan was quoted as saying on the club's official website.

Moroccan defender Badr Banoun will be absent again after he tested positive for COVID-19. He has already missed Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Wadi Degla.

"Benoun will have another nasal swab test after four days," Ahly's football director Sayed Abdel-Hafiz said in a television interview following the match.

Benoun has established himself as one of Ahly's key players since joining last year from Moroccan side Raja.

However, Ahly welcome back influential goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi and in-form midfielder Akram Tawfik, who were both part of Egypt's Olympic Games campaign. 

Ceramica Cleopatra, who are making their top-flight debut, lie 12th in the table with 33 points from 27 games.

They have not played any official games since the league's was stopped due to the national Olympic team mission in Tokyo.

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