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جائزة احسن لاعب افريقى محمد ابوتريكة و عمرو زكى

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Toothless Ahli seek Police revenge

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An injury-hit Ahli side will be seeking to overcome their lack of firepower and register a win at Police Union in their second Egyptian Premier League game.

The Red Devils have a host of strikers unavailable through injury, and Hani Al-Egeizi is their only marksman named for the game.

Newly-signed hitman Francis Doe is still nursing a hamstring problem.

Mohamed Fadl, who also arrived at the Cairo club this summer, is still sidelined along with fellow frontmen Emad Meteb and Ahmed Belal. All three players are still on the road to recovery.

Osama Hosni has recuperated from an ankle problem and was declared fit one day before the game, nonetheless, he wasn't included in the squad.

Despite Ahli's numerous absentees, head coach Hossam Al-Badri sounded confident of the Cairo giants' chances.

"We have a lot of injured players, but I'm pretty sure we can overcome that problem. It won't be the first time," he said.

On the bright side for the six-time African champions, versatile midfielder Mohamed Barakat is set to make his comeback in Wednesday's game after a long lay-off.

The 32-year-old was struggling with a hernia which he first suffered from late last season, but now he's fit to return to action.

Mohamed Abou-Treika is also in line to play against Police, although he was doubtful for the match with a minor injury.

The influential playmaker sprained his ankle in Egypt's 3-3 draw with Guinea last week, but reached full recovery in no time.

 
Al-Badri

Egypt defender Sherif Abdul-Fadil will most probably make his competitive debut with Ahli in the game, after being included in the 18-man list.

Formation

Al-Badri has been determined to employ a 4-4-2 formation since his appointment, despite being mauled by critics.

Now he believes his men have completely got accustomed to the new strategy, which from his perspective should result in more efficiency.

"The 4-4-2 formation is now familiar to us, but the players need more time to be more compatible with each other," he added.

Ahli lost a good number of pre-season friendly games, thanks to the new formation that stirred controversy over the past few weeks.

But pundits eased off their attacks on Al-Badri after his men beat Ghazl Mahalla 2-0 in their opening league match.

Last season Ahli failed to defeat Police, as they lost 1-0 in their first meeting and were held to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture.

However, Police boss Mohamed Ibrahim said the head-to-head record, which should motivate Ahli to win, doesn't give his team an advantage.

"Last year's games have nothing to do with the upcoming meeting," he stated.

"We will be facing the defending champions, therefore the game won't be easy.

 

"But we are aiming to pull off a good result."

Police defenders Rashad Farouk and Hassan Gomaa will miss the game due to a hairline fracture of the foot and a thigh strain respectively.

More fixtures

In the same competition, Harras Hodoud will be looking to register their first league victory this season when they take on Gaish at the Armed Forces Stadium.

Hodoud had a promising start to the season by beating Ahli 2-0 in the Super Cup, but later on they were held by Police in their first league game and drew with Stade Malien in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Arab Contractors will be hosted by Ittihad, who are yet to claim their first point.

Newcomers Military Production are eager to score their second consecutive win over Asyut Petroleum, after defeating Masri in their opening game.

They were also given a huge morale-boost by beating Ahli 2-0 in an exhibition match.

Mansoura, who put in a spectacular performance in the 2-2 draw with Ismaili in their previous game, will visit Gouna, the club that spent big this summer to build a balanced squad.

Mahalla will host Masri. Both teams are hoping to register a maiden victory.

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