Zamalek coach upbeat ahead of Ahly showdown


Zamalek coach Patrice Carteron is eager to cause an upset when his team plays the reverse fixture of the Cairo derby against perennial rivals Al Ahly on Monday.

The two giants lock horns in a top-of-the-table clash, as the White Knights look to revenge after their recent loss two weeks ago.

Pitso Mosimane’s Ahly emerged 2-1 victors over Zamalek but Carteron is optimistic they will get a result this time around to boost their title charge.

The Frenchman believes they will be buoyed by their midweek 2-1 win over Smouha. On Thursday, Moroccan winger Achraf Bencharki shone with a goal and an assist.

Zamalek bounced back from two successive draws to beat Smouha 2-1 at home and maintain their four-point advantage at the summit of the Egyptian Premier League.

“I was depressed from losing the previous game against Ahly as we were the better side in the game and we lost more score chances,” Carteron said.

“I am happy to start the game against Ahly with a full squad without injuries or suspensions,” the Zamalek coach said. “I expect the competition between the two teams will be tough after they also claimed a victory on Thursday.”

Zamalek are on top of the Egyptian Premier League teams’ table with 44 points, four points over rivals Ahly who still have two games in hand.

Meanwhile, the referees’ committee of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) have limited their options to two Egyptian referees which have been shortlisted to take charge of the Cairo derby.

The two clubs recently declared their objection to the appointment of an Egyptian match official for the high stakes game.

The EFA has, however, insisted they will stick to local refs, giving Mahmoud El-Banna the nod.

RELATED STORY: Al Ahly want European refs for remaining fixtures

By Mthokozisi Dube

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