Football

Al Ahly dealt several blows ahead of facing Al-Merrikh in the CAF Champions League

The reigning African champions are struggling with the number of absentees ahead of their CL encounter against their Sudanese opponents.

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Al Ahly dealt several blows ahead of facing Al-Merrikh in the CAF Champions League
KARIM JAAFAR AFP

After winning the bronze medal in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar, Egyptian giants Al Ahly are set to commence their journey of defending their CAF Champions League title as they take on Al-Merrikh of Sudan on Tuesday in the opening game of the group stage.

Al Ahly find themselves in a difficult situation due to the large list of absentees as several squad stalwarts have been ruled out of the fixture for various reasons.

The team's participation in the CWC caused more players to join the list of absentees, which had already included both the veteran playmaker Walid Soliman and Nasser Maher.

Left-back Ali Ma'loul, who sustained a hamstring injury in the CWC semi-final against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, as well as the team's new signing Taher Mohamed, who is suffering from hamstring discomfort, will also miss the game.

Striker Salah Mohsen has also been left out of the team's squad due to an injury that may keep him sidelined for 10 days, while winger Hussein Al Shahat won't feature against Al-Merrikh due to the four-game ban he was handed by CAF following last year's Champions League final due to getting into a fight with Zamalek striker Mostafa Mohamed after the game.

In the meantime, the participation of the star defender Ayman Ashraf, who is suffering from fatigue, hasn't been decided yet. Ashraf has been in great form lately, excelling in various positions.