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Preview: Ahly seeking to recover from surprise Egyptian league setback
Published in Ahram Online on 23 - 04 - 2021

Holders Ahly will be looking to quickly get over a surprising setback when they meet Enppi in the Egyptian Premier League on Saturday, a few days after they tasted their first defeat of the season.
Ahly conceded a stoppage-time goal to suffer a 2-1 defeat by a lively Smouha side on Wednesday, which ended a 12-match unbeaten run in the premier domestic competition.
The Red Devils, in part, were affected by a big injury list that includes some key players such as regular full-backs Ali Maaloul and Mohamed Hani, central defender Yasser Ibrahim, defensive midfielder Hamdi Fathi and winger Junior Ajayi.
Their makeshift defence was repeatedly caught on the break as Smouha launched some efficient counter attacks.
The defeat prevented Ahly from going level on points with leaders Zamalek, who pulled six points clear on top after beating El-Entag El-Harby 2-0 on Thursday.
However, Ahly would still overtake them with a three-point lead if they win their three games in hand. Bearing that in mind, they can't afford more slip-ups as they meet an Enppi side whose previous four matches ended in two defeats and two draws.
"We are suffering a lot due to our overwhelmed schedule, but we must deal with it," Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane told a news conference following the loss against Smouha.
"Finally, I will not speak about the injuries which the team suffers. They are not an excuse as we managed to defeat Zamalek while having several players out of action," he added, referring to a 2-1 Cairo derby victory last Sunday.
Ahly will still have to do without their injured players, with burly Malian midfielder Aliou Dieng also doubtful after picking up a knock against Smouha.
Enppi lie eighth in the 18-team table with 25 points from 17 matches.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)


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