19:00 Cairo local time | 13:00 ET
Venue: Arab Contractors Stadium
Referee: Nader Amar-Eldawla
Zamalek will be looking to send out a statement of intent as they begin the defense of their Egyptian Premier League campaign at home to Smouha on Wednesday.
The Cairo giants kick off their bid to win a third consecutive league title for the first time in their history, with their fans dreaming big after the team stormed to an unlikely triumph last term.
Zamalek were banned from making new signings last season but veteran Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira still masterminded a stunning march to the league crown, having injected fresh blood to plug the gaps in his squad.
He is blessed this time around, with Zamalek signing a handful of players to strengthen their roster, including Senegalese forward Ibrahima Ndiaye, Moroccan midfielder Zakaria El Wardi and Benin striker Samson Akinyoola.
Zamalek eased into the African Champions League group stage with comfortable wins over Chad’s Elect-Sport and Burundi’s Flambeau du Centre in the competition’s preliminary rounds but they are worried overlock of rest between the two seasons.
The White Knights barely had time off following their league triumph as they played Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal in the Lusail Super Cup last month before beginning their Champions League campaign from the first preliminary round.
They are expected to face a tough league opener against Smouha, who brought in experienced coach Tarek El-Ashri after missing out on a top-four finish last season.
El-Ashri turned around the fortunes of Talae El-Geish last term, helping them finish fourth.
Smouha also made several close-season signings, bringing in the likes of winger Sodiq Awujoola, who had just earned a call-up to Nigeria’s national team, and his countryman Junior Ajayi.
However, ex-Ahly forward Ajayi will not be available due to a serious foot injury during a pre-season friendly.
Live: Zamalek v Smouha | Egyptian League
19:00 Cairo local time | 13:00 Cairo Local Time