Preview: Ahly out to recover against Mahalla in Egyptian league

Omar Zaazou, Wednesday 5 Feb 2014

Ahly aim to get back on track against Ghazl El-Mahalla on Thursday

Ahly vs Mahalla

Ahly will be looking to bounce back from their recent two league defeats against Arab Contractors and Dakhleya when they host Ghazl El-Mahalla in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday.

Following a four-match winning streak, Ahly were shockingly handed a 2-1 defeat by Contractors before losing 1-0 to Dakhleya the following week.

The second-placed Ahly, however, could now have an easy chance to recover when they entertain Mahalla, given the Farmers' poor position in Group A as they lie second from bottom.

Team news

Ahly welcome back defence stalwart Wael Gomaa, who missed the Dakhleya match due to automatic suspension after seeing red in the Contractors' defeat.

The absence of Mohamed "Gedo" Nagy will, however, continue due to an ankle problem that ruled him out of the Dakhleya game.

Ahly will also have to do without Egypt right-back Ahmed Fathi, who is nursing a knee injury, as well as Sabry Rahil, who is out with a groin complaint.

Match facts

Ahly managed to overcome Mahalla in their last three league meetings, including the match that was marred by pitch invasion from the fans, prompting the referee to call it off back in 2011.

As Egypt was plagued by widespread chaos following the 2011 January revolution, the game at Mahalla Stadium saw the hosts go 2-1 up before the home fans stormed the pitch after the referee had allowed a controversial Ahly equaliser to stand.

Ahly were eventually handed a 2-0 walkover win by the Egyptian Football Association. 

Their last meeting before the controversial game saw Mahalla record a rare 2-0 victory. The 2009-2010 league season clash marked Mahalla's only victory over Ahly in a decade, with goals from Mahmoud ''Jackson'' and Ahmed Hassan "Drogba" giving the hosts a priceless win.

Ahly have won 12 times since 2004 as both sides played out three draws.

The top-scorers during the aforementioned Ahly-Mahalla matches were the mercurial Mohamed Barakat (four goals) and midfield marvel Mohamed Abou-Treika (three goals) - who both retired last year.

Angola frontman Flavio was also amongst the high scorers of the meetings, bagging another three, including the one that saw him open his account for the Reds. 

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