Preview: Worn-out Ahly out to arrest slump in form

Ahram Online , Friday 20 May 2022

A worn-out Ahly will have no time to rest as they face Enppi in a rescheduled Egyptian Premier League game on Saturday, knowing that another slump will extend their astonishing winless run to five games and cast doubts over their ability to win the title.


Ahly, who surrendered their lead to allow Cairo rivals Zamalek to pip them to the league title last season, have been largely inconsistent this term despite their African Champions League exploits.

The Red Devils are gearing up for an anticipated Champions League final against Morocco's Wydad on 30 May as they eye an unprecedented hat-trick of straight crowns.

Although they are on the verge of making history in the continent, their fans are still unsatisfied that the team are incapable of replicating that form domestically.

Their goalless draw against NBE Club on Wednesday stretched their winless streak to four games for the first time in 12 years, a run in which they lost once and scored a solitary goal from a penalty.

Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane appeared perplexed to explain his side's profligacy but he did say his side were tired because of a packed schedule.

But with Ahly having a request to postpone their next league game against Eastern Company, which will take place five days before the Champions League final, turned down, Mosimane might have no option but to rotate his squad.

Rotation is also a luxury, with Ahly missing a host of regulars through nagging injuries, including the entire three-man midfield -- Amr El-Sulaya, Aliou Dieng and Hamdi Fathi -- as well as three central defenders in Mohamed Abdel-Moneim, Yasser Ibrahim and the suspended Ayman Ashraf.

Enppi, who lie ninth in the table, are expected to give Ahly a run for their money, having claimed a shock 2-0 win over Zamalek earlier this month.

Their Nigerian striker John Ebuka is also enjoying a fine run, with reports linking him with a summer move to either Ahly or Zamalek. He has scored nine league goals in 18 appearances so far this season.

Despite Ahly's struggles, they still have destiny in their own hands. Should they win their games in hand, they will move four points ahead of Pyramids FC and five clear of Zamalek in what could be an interesting three-horse race for the title.

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