Preview: Al Ahly v Zamalek | CAF Champions League Final
Date: Friday, November 27th, 2020
Time: 14:00 ET Canada-USA | 20:00 Cairo Local time
Venue: Cairo Stadium | No Fans allowed
All eyes will be on Cairo Stadium, where the match between Zamalek and Al-Ahly in a final has been described as the final of the century.
Given that it is the first time in history that Zamalek, the holder of five titles of the African Champions League and the most crowned club in the continental championships in the twentieth century, are matched against their traditional rivals Al-Ahly who won this tournament eight times.
Zamalek will enter the match under the leadership of their Portuguese coach Jaime Pacheco with the usual 4-2-3-1 formation unless any injuries appear in the main line-up, especially in light of the recent injuries to both EPL players Mohamed Salah from Liverpool, and Mohamed Elneny from Arsenal, in the last camp of Egypt.
We predict the line-ups will be as follows:
Muhammad Abu Jabal as the goalkeeper and the four-line defence made up of Hazem Emam on the right after he recovered from Covid-19, Abdullah Gomaa the left-back, Mahmoud Hamdi Al-Wensh, and Mahmoud Alaa as the center-backs.
In the midfield will likely be Tarek Hamed and Ferjani Sassi, for more harmony between them; their attacking trio of Ahmed Al-Sayed Zizo, 24-year-old Moroccan Ashraf Bencharki, and Youssef Obama; and the attack to be led by Mustafa Muhammad.
Al-Ahly will enter the match under the leadership of South African coach Pitso Mosimane, and probably in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation.
We’ll likely see El-Shenawy as the goalkeeper and in defence, Al-Ahly will play with four players, Muhammad Hani, Ali Maaloul, Yasser Ibrahim, and Ayman Ashraf. The midfield duos are likely to be Amr Al-Soulia and Alio Diang, the three below the striker made up of Mohamed Majdi Kafsha, Hussein Al Shahat, and Junior Ajay, while the striker would be Marwan Mohsen.
Players COVID-19 update
Zamalek was dealt a significant blow as international defender Mahmoud “El-Wensh” Hamdi has tested positive for Coronavirus four days before the highly anticipated Final.
Walid Soliman has confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19, ruling him out for his side’s upcoming clash against Zamalek.
The Ahly talisman has been an integral part in Pitso Mosimane’s lineup since the South African took charge of Al Ahly back in September.
Soliman has made a total of five appearances under Mosimane, including his recent start in Al Ahly’s victory over Abu Qir in the Egypt Cup quarter-finals.
However, Mosimane will now head to the CAF Champions League final on Friday without Soliman, who confirmed on Sunday that he tested positive for COVID-19 on his Instagram account.
He has now become the fourth Al Ahly player to contract the virus after Mahmoud Kahraba, Mohamed Sherif, and Ahmed Yasser Rayyan.
Zamalek’s president Mortada Mansour not allowed to attend the game!
the Egyptian Olympic Committee sent an official letter to the EFA’s normalization committee of informing them to ban Mansour from entering Cairo Stadium for the Zamalek and Al Ahly clash, in the final of the CAF Champions League.
Last month, the Egyptian Olympic Committee banned Mansour from practicing any sporting activities for four years and called for running new elections for Zamalek’s presidency.
It also banned the Whites’ president from holding any meetings or setting up any general assemblies during the suspension period.
The Egyptian Committee also prevented him from taking any official decisions, related to any financial issues.
It is a big match by all accounts and beyond expectations due to the close technical level of both teams, so this match will certainly be recorded in history as the winner will win the first Champions League at the expense of their traditional rivals, and the metaphorical gates of hell will open for the loser.
Zamalek will attack from the sides and rely on the transitions, while Al-Ahly players will try to attract Zamalek players out of their areas and then pass behind them. However, it will be an exceptional match.