LIVE: El Zamalek v Al Ahly | Cairo Derby

LIVE: El Zamalek v Al Ahly | Cairo Derby

21:30 Cairo Local Time | 15:30 ET Canada – USA

Venue: Cairo Stadium, Cairo

All eyes will be set on Cairo International Stadium, where the Cairo giants, Al Ahly and Zamalek, will face off in a game postponed from the fourth week of the Egyptian League.

The two teams will meet for the first time since the 2020 CAF Champions League final when Al Ahly defeated Zamalek 2-1 to secure the 9th CAF Champions League title in the club’s history.

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Zamalek leads the league table with 33 points after 14 games and they are six points ahead of Al Ahly, who played only 11 matches.

Carteron was in charge during the previous Cairo derby in the league, in which Zamalek produced an efficient counter-attacking display to down eventual champions Ahly 3-1 in August last year.

The Frenchman then abruptly departed at a crucial stage of last season before returning to the club last month, replacing Portuguese Jaime Pacheco. He is likely to keep faith in his usual counter-attacking strategy as Zamalek look to make the most of Ahly’s absences.

The Red Devils, who are targeting a sixth consecutive league crown, will be without several regulars, including key goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi, who tested positive for COVID-19.

El-Shennawi’s understudy Ali Lotfi has produced some shaky displays on the rare occasions in which he was given a chance to show his worth, leaving coach Pitso Mosimane with a selection worry.

The South African will also have to do without his regular full-backs Ali Maaloul and Mohamed Hani as well as central defender Yasser Ibrahim and Nigerian forward Junior Ajayi.

Ahly will have to play with a makeshift backline, with Moroccan Badr Benoun the only fit regular defender in their squad for the derby.

On the other hand, Zamalek almost have a fully-fit squad to choose from, with versatile midfielder Emam Ashour and stand-in right-back Ahmed Eid the only absentees.

Both men are serving a 12-match ban for making offensive chants against Ahly following the end of a youth league game earlier this month.

An Egyptian referee will take charge of Sunday’s Cairo derby for the first time in three years as the country’s football federation turned down requests from Ahly and Zamalek to bring in a foreign official.

Mahmoud El-Banna, who started taking charge of top-flight games in 2013, was assigned by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on Saturday to officiate at the high-stakes game, which will take place at Cairo Stadium.

The EFA broke away with the tradition of appointing foreign referees for the derby despite objections from Ahly and Zamalek, who both agreed that it would be better not to change course as tensions rise.

EFA officials insist Egyptian referees can rise to the occasion.

Mohamed El-Hanafi was the last Egyptian official to take charge of the game in 2018, which Zamalek won 2-1 in a dead-rubber after Ahly had already secured the league title.

El-Banna’s task should be easier, however, following the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology last season.

LIVE: El Zamalek v Al Ahly | Cairo Derby

21:30 Cairo Local Time | 15:30 ET Canada – USA

FT: Zamalek 1-2 Al Ahly

 

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