Preview: Zamalek aim to replicate Champions League form in domestic competition

Ahram Online, Wednesday 2 Apr 2014

Zamalek will be looking to snap a three-match winless run when they face El-Gaish in the Egyptian Premier League on Thursday

Ahmed Hossam mido
Zamalek's coach Mido (Photo: Bassam Al-Zoghby)

Zamalek will be hoping to replicate their African Champions League form when they meet El-Gaish in the Egyptian league on Thursday as they seek to end a poor run in the premier domestic competition.

The Cairo giants booked their place in the Champions League group stage with a comprehensive 5-0 drubbing of Zambia's Nkana FC on Monday following a goalless draw in the first leg, which came in stark contrast to their domestic stumbles.

They drew twice and lost once in their previous three league matches, scoring one goal after struggling to unlock tight backlines.

"We are seeking to take advantage of our win over Nkana to return to winning ways in the league," said Zamalek coach Mido, a fan favourite who is burdened with ending their 10-year wait for a league triumph.

"In the Champions League, our opponents tend to attack so that allows us to exploit gaps in their defences, unlike the Egyptian league where teams prefer to sit back and defend in numbers," the rookie manager added.

Although Zamalek lie eighth in Group B with 15 points, five behind second-placed Ismaily and 10 adrift of leaders Petrojet, they will move second if they win their three games in hand.

El-Gaish are coached by Helmi Toulan, Mido's predecessor at Zamalek who was dismissed in January after a poor start to their league campaign, few months after helping the club end their five-year title drought by winning the Egypt Cup title.

"We are looking for a win against El-Gaish. We will face a team not a coach," Mido added when asked whether he is anticipating a personal duel against Toulan.

Zamalek will miss defender Hamada Tolba through injury and playmaker Mohamed Ibrahim through suspension.

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