Ahly currently leads the league pack with 35 points, four more than their arch rivals after 15 games with each side having a game in hand. Zamalek ended an 11-year league-less period by winning last year's title, completing their first domestic double since 1988, beating no one but Ahly in the Egyptian Cup final. Ahly responded quickly by winning the Egypt Super Cup title last October, beating Zamalek 3-2 in United Arab Emirates city of Al Ain.
Local coaches will lead both sides in the clash; an unfamiliar aspect for the Cairo Derby. Interim coach Abdul Aziz Abdul Shafy "Zizo" leads The Red Devils, while Ahmed Hossam "Mido" is Zamalek's man in charge. Both coaches were prominent strikers for their clubs, with Mido having a long spell abroad with the likes of Ajax, Olympique Marseille, Roma, Tottenham among other clubs.
Zizo was given the mission last month after Portuguese Jose Pesseiro ended his contract with Ahly following an offer to coach Portuguese giants FC Porto. It's the third time the ex-Ahly forward has been offered the job on an interim basis. He was the coach for just one match when Ahly defeated their arch rivals in the Egypt Super Cup last October, and is set to leave his place for yet another foreign coach after the derby, according to club sources.
On the other side, Mido started his second spell with Zamalek last month. The 33-year old ex-striker led Zamalek for just 6 months in 2014, and returned to his boyhood club after Brazilian Marcos Paqueta was shown the exit early this year.
Both sides will miss some key players for the big game. Midfielder Waleed Soliman and veteran striker Emad Metaeb are ruled out for Ahly, while the White Knights will be without Burkinabe defender Mohamed Kofi and midfielder Tarek Hamed for different reasons.
However, both will have some cutting edge stars that can make the differnce. Ahly has team captain Hossam Ghaly, playmaker Abdullah El Said, Ghana based striker John Antwi and Gabonese goal machine Malick Evouna; while Zamalek rely on talented skipper Mahmoud "Shikabala" Abdul Razek, midfielder Omar Gaber and young stars Mostafa Fathy and Mahmoud Abdul Monaem "Kahraba".
Historically, the derby carries number 111 since the Egyptian Premier League was found in 1948. Ahly has won 39 matches, Zamalek 25 with 46 games ending in a stalemate.
Between the two sides counts 49 titles out of available 58 in the League, with Ahly winning 37 times compared to Zamalek's 12.
Despite local coaches at the helm, there will be one foreign factor in the Cairo Derby, which is 40-year old Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai. The 2011 UEFA Champions League final referee will officiate the game, scheduled to kick off at 19H00 local time (17H00 GMT).