Preview: Zamalek hope to build a winning rhythm against Sudan's Al Merreikh

Ahmed Seif , Thursday 16 Feb 2023

Zamalek, who beat Semouha 3-0 in the EPL on Tuesday after a string of losses and draws since the start of the year, hope to start a winning streak in a tough mission away from home against Al Merreikh of Sudan in the second game of the Group Stage D games in the CAF champions league at Libya’s Benina Martyrs Stadium on Friday.

photo: Zamalek offcial twitter account


Last Friday, Zamalek lost 1-0 to Algeria’s Belouizdad at home in the first game in the group stage, which also includes the Tunisian side Esperance.

The White Knights, who struggled all around on and off the pitch this season, come into the game against Al-Merrikh having claimed only two wins in 10 games in all competitions since the start of 2023.

“Al Merreikh match will be difficult and Zamalek will play in order to win and reap the three points,”  Zamalek's 68-year-old Portuguese manager Jesualdo Ferreira told the pre-match news conference on Thursday.

"The loss to Belouizdad in the first round was not expected. Zamalek was better than the opponent and we did not deserve to lose. In the end, we lost because of a doubtful penalty," Ferreira said.

On the other side, Al Merreikh are aiming for a first win in the group, after losing to the Tunisian side Esperance in Rades.

Despite missing key defenders Ahmed Fatouh and Mostafa El-Zenary on Friday due to injury, Ferreira said "their alternatives are ready and they are on the same level as starting players."

Zamalek meets Ricardo, again!   

Friday's clash against Al Merrikh will be the White Knights' eighth game against the Sudanese side's current Brazilian manager Heron Ricardo in all tournaments.

Ricardo, 65, has faced the White Knights on seven previous occasions - twice as head coach with Al-Hilal of Sudan in the African Champions League and five times as head coach with the Egyptian side Ismaily in the domestic competition.

He beat Zamalek four times games and lost one while drawing in two.

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