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Egypt's Ahly eyeing three points Sunday.

Summary: CAIRO - Mohamed Youssef, Al-Ahly General Coach, says that Sunday's match against TP Mazembe of DR Congo in the group stage of the African Champions League (ACL) will be a tough one, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reports.

By Tamer Mohamed - The Egyptian Gazette The clash kicks off Sunday at 7:30pm (Cairo Local Time) in Cairo's Military Academy Stadium.

"We must beat TP Mazembe, in order to get off to a flying start at the start of the ACL group stage. The coaching staff have every confidence that the players can do it," he adds.

Youssef believes his players can win tonight, as they're very well focused.

The match, which will be played behind closed doors for security reasons, will be the first official game for the Red Devils under technical coach Hossam el-Badri, in the wake of Manuel Jose da Silva's departure from the Red Devils, after an 18-month stint, because sports activities have been suspended in the country since last February.

El-Badri, 52, was responsible for the team from 2009 to late 2010, leading Ahly to 2009-2010 Egyptian Premier League and 2010 Egypt Super Cup glory.

He has signed a contract for two seasons starting from 2012-2013. "A win will be a good boost for us at the group stage," Youssef explains, stressing that TP Mazembe are a good team with very talented players. "We respect them highly."

Al-Ahly, six-time ACL winners, have been drawn in Group B with arch-rivals Zamalek, and Bechem Chelsea of Ghana, besides TP Mazembe of DR Congo.

"We've prepared well and we're ready for the ACL group stage clashes," Youssef stresses.

"We will miss our supporters as the game will be played behind closed doors, but we will do our best to make them happy."

The Red Devils will be without key players Wael Gomaa in defence and midfielder Mohamed Shawqi, both injured, while midfielder Ahmed Fathi is doubtful.

"Shawqi will not be available for tonight's game, but Ahmed Fathi has recovered and the coaching staff will decide whether he will be playing," says Khaled Mohamed, the team doctor.

According to sources at the Red Devils, the team starting line-up will be: Sherif Ekrami, Mohamed Naguib, Sherif Abdel-Fadil, Ahmed Fathi or Mohamed Barakat, Sayyed Moa'wad, Hossam Ghali, Hossam Ashour, Mohamed Abou Treika, Abdullah el-Said, Mohamed Naggi, Emad Mete'b.

El-Badri has decided to start the game against TP Mazembe with the 4-4-2 formation.

Al-Ahly recently added four new players to the squad for the ACL games: defender Saad Samir, goalie Mahmoud Abul Saoud and new signings, right-back Ahmed Seddiq and Ivorian striker Ousso Konan.

El-Badri has told the players to snatch an early goal, so they can then relax and enjoy the game.

Al-Ahly squad for the game:

Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekrami, Mahmoud Abul Saoud.

Defenders: Mohamed Naguib, Sherif Abdel-Fadil, Ahmed Fathi, Sayyed Moa'wad, Saad Samir, Ahmed Seddiq, Ahmed Shedid.

Midfielders: Mohamed Barakat, Abdullah el-Said, Hossam Ghali, Hossam Ashour, Shehab el-Deen Ahmed, Waleed Soleiman.

Strikers: Mohamed Abou Treika, Ousso Konan, Mohamed Naggi 'Geddo', Emad Mete'b, Fabio Junior.

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Publication:The Egyptian Gazette (Cairo, Egypt)
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Jul 7, 2012
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