Ittihad face tough task in league opener

الجمعة، 08 أغسطس 2008 - 01:43

كتب : Hatem Maher

Ittihad are looking for an opening win

Ittihad face a tough task to claim a victory in the Egyptian League opener as they host Masri, who have enjoyed a revival under coach Hossam Hassan.

Taha Basri’s Ittihad will be hoping to avoid a repeated experience of battling against relegation until the latter stages of the competition.

In doing so, they will have to set the tone for their season by defeating Port Said-based club Masri in Alexandria.

But Ittihad’s mission won’t be easy as Masri have heavily improved since the appointment of former Egypt striker Hassan as their new boss.

The legendary striker took charge of Masri while they were struggling at the bottom last season, lifting them up for a ninth-place finish in the league.

But Hassan will watch the match from the stands as he serves a two-match touchline ban for protesting the referee’s decisions during Masri’s game against ENPPI last season.

New Signings

Ittihad have signed a host of players in the close season to rejuvenate their ageing and underachieving squad.

They signed two right-backs in Ahmed Adel and Ahmed Hossam, who were released by Ahli and Zamalek respectively.

Ittihad also landed ENPPI trio Reda Metwalli, Ibrahim Al-Shayeb and Farag Shalabi.

Ten other players, including Suez Cement defender Ahmed Bakri and Telecom Egypt keeper Samir Ashour, moved to Ittihad.

On the other hand, Masri have added just three players to their ranks.

They signed diminutive left-back Ahmed Shedid from Ahli, right-back Ahmed Fawzi from Suez Cement and central defender Ali Samir from Harras Al-Hodoud.

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