Preview: Zamalek aim to snap winless run in CL clash against Wydad

Ahram Online , Friday 25 Feb 2022

Zamalek will be looking to snap a three-match winless run in all competitions when they face Morocco's Wydad away from home in a vital African Champions League clash on Saturday.

Zamalek
Zamalek were held to a 0-0 draw away to Angola s Sagrada Esperanca last weekend (Ahram)

The Cairo giants have endured a patchy form of late, having been held to draws at home to Angola's Petro Atletico and away to Sagrada Esperanca in their opening Group D games of the Champions League.

In between, they also slumped to a surprise 2-0 loss to Smouha in the Egyptian Premier League, which saw them drop to third in the table behind Pyramids FC and perennial Cairo rivals Ahly.

The disappointing run increased pressure on beleaguered coach Patrice Carteron, who will need to quickly get the team back on track if he is to avoid being the first casualty of Mortada Mansour after the eccentric chairman won a fresh four-year term as the club's president.

"When you take charge of a team the size of Zamalek, you must be patient when under pressure, and I hope to stay until I achieve a major title with the team," Carteron, who led Zamalek to the domestic league title last season, told a news conference ahead of the Wydad clash.

Zamalek's game against Wydad could determine the Frenchman's future, with the White Knights eyeing a positive result to boost their chances of reaching the last eight after a disappointing group-stage elimination last season.

They lie third in the group with two points, one behind Wydad and two adrift of surprise leaders Petro Atletico.

Wydad will be also looking to make up for a surprise 2-1 loss to Atletico, and they are banking on fan support at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca after Moroccan authorities had agreed to their request to play before their typically passionate fans.

"I believe that Zamalek will also benefit from the presence of fans, who make football much more entertaining," Carteron added.

Zamalek welcome back key winger Ahmed Zizo, who missed the 0-0 draw against Sagrada Esperanca due to a COVID-19 infection.

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