Al Ahly

The Red Devils

The defending champions are a team at a crossroads with their ageing stars delivering a surprise success last year despite a lack of domestic competition as the league in Egypt was cancelled for the entire year. 

But the aura of their all conquering team is fast dissipating. Coach Hossam Al Badari quit last week after qualifying the team for the group phase to go to Libya, where there is more money.

Al Ahli are in a tight squeeze these days because the precarious security situation means that they no longer get the much needed gate revenue from supporters as matches in Egypt have been ordered behind closed doors by the country’s security chiefs.

As for playing staff, Mohamed Aboutrika has gone and veteran defender Wael Gomaa was recently dropped, signalling the end of his career and leaving only Mohamed Barakat and Emad Moteab from their golden era.