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Egypt's Zamalek eyeing win against Chelsea
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 06 - 07 - 2012

Zamalek's assistant coach Ismail Youssef said that the team finished preparations ahead of the White Knights tie away from home in the group stage of the African Champions League (ACL) against Bechem Chelsea of Ghana on Saturday at 4:00pm Cairo Local Time, stressing that the game will be quite difficult, according to Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA).
"The coaching staff is confident that the players will achieve a positive result against Bechem Chelsea of Ghana. The players are concentrating hard and wait for the opportunity to participate in the match," Youssef explained.
The Zamalek team arrived in Accra, Ghana on Thursday and yesterday held a training session.
“This difficult game is very important and a win will be a great boost for us in the group stage," Youssef added.
After having been absent for three seasons, this is the first time that Zamalek can qualify for the group stage of the African Champions League (ACL) since 2008.
The two Cairo giants Al-Ahly and Zamalek were drawn in Group B, along with Bechem Chelsea of Ghana and TP Mazembe of DR Congo. Ahly will play against TP Mazembe of DR Congo in Cairo tomorrow.
Zamalek will miss several key players in today's game. Midfielder Ahmed Hassan and striker Razak Omotoyossi of Benin will not participate because of a ban.
Omotoyossi was given a four-match ban by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after an angry exchange with the referee during the Africa Sports of Côte d'Ivoire game in round 32.
The team will also miss defender Salah Soliman because of an injury. Ahmed Hassan said that the team would play the game in difficult circumstances, as sports activities in Egypt were suspended for five months.
The cancellation of the 2011-12 Premier League season, the Martyrs' Cup and the Egypt Cup, made everything more difficult for Egyptian coaches anxious to keep their players in top form.
On February 1 in the coastal town of Port Said, an Egyptian Premier League match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly turned violent, claiming the lives of at least 74 Ahly fans and injuring around 1,000 spectators.
Al-Ahly Ultra groups threatened to cause trouble in the stadiums if the tournament and the Egypt Cup were to go ahead before the perpetrators of the Port Said massacre were punished.
As a result the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) cancelled the Premier League 2011-12 season in early March, as well as the Martyrs' Cup and Egypt Cup.
Zamalek squad:
Goalkeepers: Abdel-Wahed el-Sayyed, Ahmed el-Shennawi, Mahmoud Abdel Rahim.
Defenders: Mahmoud Fathallah, Mohamed Abdel Shafi, Hani Saied, Sabri Raheil, Ahmed Samir, Omar Gaber.
Midfielders: Ibrahim Salah, Hazem Emam, Mohamed Ibrahim, Alexis Mendomo, Islam Awad, Nour el- Sayyed, Ahmed Tawfik, Saied Otta.
Strikers: Amr Zaki, Ahmed Gaafar, Abdoulaye Cissé.

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