LIVE: EL Zamalek v Al Ahly | Egyptian League | Cairo Derby
20:00 Cairo Local Time | 14:00 ET Canada – USA
Venue: Cairo Stadium
Referee: Mohamed Adel
For the first time in 10 years, the Cairo derby games in the domestic league will see the presence of the passionate fans of the biggest two teams in Egypt in the stands.
Two thousand of Al Ahly and Zamalek fans will attend the game, with the reds chanting from the left side and the whites supporting from the right side.
The last derby game in the league that saw the attendance of football fans was played in 2011 and ended in a 2-2 draw.
Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron has tipped archrivals Ahly to win the anticipated Cairo derby after the Reds splashed the cash in the summer transfer window, while the Whites suffer from FIFA sanctions over outstanding payments to former players and coaches.
In May, FIFA banned Zamalek from two transfer windows over unpaid dues to some former players and coaches.
“Ahly are the favorites to win the next league derby after spending big money in the last summer transfer window,” Carteron told ON Time Sports TV channel.
“I am happy with the outstanding season Zamalek had the last season; the current one will be difficult after many clubs spent a lot on signing new players and now have unlimited ambitions, but we will make their mission a difficult one,” Carteron added.
The 51-year-old, who coached Ahly in the 2018 season, will count on his two in-form wingers Achraf Bencharki and Ahmed Sayed Zizo, who made superb performances since the start of the season, as well as the cemented defence of midfielders Tarek Hamed, Mahmoud Hamdi El-Wench and Hamza El-Mathlouthi.
Zamalek, who claimed their first league title since 2015 last season, are hoping to secure the title for the second time in a row, despite a FIFA-imposed transfer ban.
“We will deal with the new season and the games’ sequence as we did in the last season,” Carteron was quoted as saying on Zamalek’s official website.
“We will give all the players their chances to participate and there won’t be any one player who plays in every single game.”
All eyes will be on Ahly’s newly signed players in the derby after their superb performance since the start of the new season that helped the team send a warning to their league competitors.
Ahly’s newly-acquired South African forward Percy Tau, 27, shone on his first appearance after joining from English Premier League side Brighton, with two superbly-taken goals, giving the team an impressive 4-0 victory over Ismaily.
Meanwhile, Mozambican winger Luis Miquissone, 26, another new recruit, was also convincing against the NBE in his second appearance with the Reds.
Midfielder Ahmed Abdel-Kader, 22, back from loan at Smouha, made a fine impact off the bench in both games against Ismaily and the NBE.
“We have to see how the new players will blend into the team. Tau, Miquissone, Abdelkader, and all the rest of the team put on a good performance tonight,” Assistant Coach Sami Komsan said on Ahly’s official website following the win over Ismaily.
“We still have a long road to go. We expect a tough competition as we will be overwhelmed with games, aside from the fact that all teams will be motivated to win.”
Ahly coach Mosimane, 57, has excluded wingers Mahmoud Kahraba and Walid Soliman from the team’s squad in the game against Zamalek.
Mosimane is expected to start the game with striker Mohamed Sherif, who notched the victory over NBE Club this week, alongside Tau, Hussien El-Shahat and Mohamed Afsha in the frontline.
FT: EL Zamalek 3-5 Al Ahly | Egyptian League | Cairo Derby