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Preview: Ahly seeking to dispel doubts in CL clash against Vita Club
Published in Ahram Online on 05 - 03 - 2021

Ahly are out to dispel any doubts stemming from a shock 1-0 defeat at Tanzanian side Simba as they host DR Congo's Vita Club in an African Champions League Group A match on Saturday.
The Red Devils, who won a record-extending ninth Champions League crown last season, were expected to seal smooth progress to the knockout phase this term after being drawn in a relatively easy group.
They kicked off their Group A campaign in convincing fashion, crushing Sudan's Al-Merreikh 3-0 in Cairo.
However, they were stunningly outplayed by a silky Simba side in Dar es Salaam last month, with their unfancied opponents claiming an upset victory that put the Tanzanians on top of the group with maximum six points.
Ahly, who are level on three points with Vita Club, were also sluggish in an Egyptian Premier League game against lowly Talae El-Gaish as they needed a stoppage-time goal from Junior Ajayi to spare their blushes and secure a comeback win.
The recent dip in form has prompted some Ahly fans to question the tactics of South African coach Pitso Mosimane, who has guided the team to a famous victory over Zamalek in the Champions League final and an Egypt Cup triumph since his arrival in October last year.
Mosimane is criticized for tweaking with his starting line-up too often, with the front three in particular unable to operate in tandem.
"The game against Vita Club is very important because we want to make up for the loss to Simba," Ahly's assistant coach Sami Komsan said.
"We have prepared well for the game as Vita Club are a tough opponent."
Ahly will miss veteran winger Walid Soliman and Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul due to injuries.
Attacking midfielder Mahmoud Kahraba is also out after being suspended by the club for one month after reportedly protesting against a decision by Mosimane to start him on the bench against El-Gaish.
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