CAIRO: Ahly midfielder Ahmed Hassan played down the importance of the Cairo derby with Zamalek.
The Egypt captain plays his fifth derby in two years since he joined Ahly from Anderlecht and refuses to call the game a title on its own.
It s a normal game, like any other league match, Hassan told Ahly s official website.
A derby victory is always important for the fans. But in the end, I can t see it as a title on its own as they say.
But a triumph on Friday gives Ahly a sixth straight title because they can stretch their lead on top to 12 points, a gap Zamalek can t bridge in their remaining three games.
Hassan has been involved in a war of words with Zamalek football director Ibrahim Hassan, after the latter called for doping tests in the Egyptian League.
The 35-year-old star criticized these calls in public, claiming that the Zamalek official is hinting at Ahly s veteran players.
Hassan, who has been named the African Cup of Nations best player in February, said Ahly have what it takes to beat their arch-rivals.
We have the quality and experience. I believe in our team to win all three points, he said.