Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron
Holders Zamalek will be hosting Cairo rivals Ahly on 5 November in the third round of the Egyptian Premier League new season.
“Ahly are the favorites to win the next league derby after spending big money in the last summer transfer window,” Carteron told ON Time Sports TV channel on Friday.
“I am happy with the outstanding season with Zamalek last term and the current one will be difficult after seeing many clubs spending a lot in signing new players, but we will make their mission a difficult one especially as they will have unlimited ambitions,” the former Ahly coach added.
In May, FIFA banned Zamalek from two transfer windows over unpaid dues for some former players.
“Ahly will be under a big pressure after spending a lot this summer. We didn’t pay any money but we will fight them for the league title,” the Zamalek French coach explained.
“We are trying to handle the current situation of the transfer ban as we have players who returned from loan spells in a better shape. We are the champions of last season and we will do our best to keep the title.
“Financial stability is a must as you can’t convince a player to deliver his best while he didn’t get all his dues,” he added.
Defending champions Zamalek kicked off their Egyptian Premier League campaign with a convincing 2-0 victory over Enppi on Tuesday.
Meanwhile Ahly crushed Ismaili 4-0 in their opening game on Wednesday.
The Red Devils moved top of the table with three points, ahead of several other teams on goal difference, including Cairo rivals Zamalek.
“I hope that we will face Ahly again in the Champions League final. Zamalek are not favourites for the league title because of the transfer ban but I adore such challenges,” the Zamalek coach concluded.
Zamalek lost the Champions League title last season after the 2-1 loss to Ahly in the final in Cairo stadium on 27 November.
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