Preview: Zamalek seek to end winless streak against Degla

Omar Zaazou , Tuesday 8 Apr 2014

Zamalek have won four out of five times against Degla, but they'll be coming into Wednesday's showdown off a three-match run of disappointments

(Photo: Al-Ahram Sport)

A faltering Zamalek side will be eager to bounce back from a barren league run when they take on Wadi Degla in a rescheduled game from Week 10 on Wednesday.

The Cairo giants, who emphatically booked a Champions League last-eight birth with a 5-0 aggregate win over Angola's Nkana Red Devils, have curiously failed to secure more than two points in their last three league games.

A surprise defeat to Masry, which followed a goalless draw to Beni Suef Telephones, was followed by another disappointing 1-1 stalemate with Talae El-Geish last week.

The winless streak has left Zamalek languishing in eighth place of Group B, as a win over third-placed Degla would see both teams become level on 19 points.

Even though surprise-package Petrojet sits at the summit with 26 points, five points clear of second-placed Ismaily, Zamalek could still bridge the gap to just one point should they win their other two games in hand.

Previous head-to-head meetings

Zamalek's record against Degla, who made their top-flight debut in 2010, gives the 11-time league champions an edge ahead of the league clash – having won four and drawn once in five games in all competitions.

Their last meeting was in last season's Egypt Cup final, which saw Zamalek cruise to a comfortable 3-0 victory to clinch a title that had been evading them since 2006.

A notable feature of their previous meetings is that they all witnessed goals, with Zamalek striker Ahmed Gaafar the top-scorer with a five-goal tally.

Gaafar, however, will miss the game after being omitted from the squad, with reports indicating that the towering frontman has fallen out with the team's management.

As for Degla, they've managed only two goals against Zamalek, both of which were interestingly scored by former Zamalek players – defender Amr Adel and midfielder Hassan Mostafa.

Squad news

Apart from Adel, Degla still boast ex-Zamalek players among their ranks, with former Lierse left-back Mohamed Abdel-Wahed and defender Ahmed Magdy set to face their old club.

But the prominent name in Degla's roster is Egypt's former first-choice keeper Essam El-Hadary, arguably the best guardian in the Pharaohs' history.

Another ex-Lierse player set to take part in the game is Zamalek's newly-signed Ahmed Samir Farag, whose registration has finally been completed after joining in February.

Right-back Ahmed Samir and midfielder Islam Awad, however, have been left out amid rumours that Zamalek manager Ahmed Hossam 'Mido' intends to offload them at the end of the season.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)



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