Cairo giants Al Ahly are set to rest several players during the upcoming Arab Club Championship.
“We will be resting some of the main players [for the tournament], probably seven or eight,” assistant coach Ahmed Ayoub said in a televised statement.
Fans and pundits alike have been clamoring to get Egypt’s domestic-based national team players some much-needed rest ahead of the team’s decisive stretch of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, beginning with a date in Uganda on Aug. 31.
Some Ahly and Zamalek players have had very little time for recovery, participating in domestic, regional, and international league and cup competitions.
There is no word yet on which exact players will be sidelined, or whether cross-town rivals Zamalek – also partaking in the tournament – would sit their national team players as well.
Ayoub also said he’d be leading Ahly’s charges in their opener against Jordan’s Al-Faisaly on Saturday, in the absence of manager Hossam El-Badry who is currently overseas.
The tournament is being held in Egypt from July 21 through August 5.