Thursday Jun 25, 2015. 21:57
Title holders ES Sétif will host fellow Algerians USM Alger in Sétif on Saturday
, in their Group B opener of the 2015 CAF Champions League.
Crowned Algerian champs last month, the two-time winners of Africa’s foremost club competition (1988 and 2014) will be looking to carry their fine domestic form into the big stage to secure a third continental trophy.
The ‘Black Eagle’ reached the last eight of the lucrative group stage after seeing off Raja Casablanca on penalties in the final playoff round of the prestigious tournament.
To face USMA, Sétif coach Kheireddine Madoui will be without injured Eudes Dagoulou and Toufik Zerara as well as new signings Fares Hachi, Walid Chenine and Miloud Rebai, while Farid Mellouli, Abdelghani Demou, Mohamed Lagraâ and Zee Ondo have left the club.
Still looking for their first piece of continental silverware, USM Alger got past Guinea’s AS Kaloum 3-2 on aggregate to book their spot in this group stage.
After preparing for their clash in Casablanca, the ‘Red and Black’ will head to Sétif under the technical guidance of caretaker coaching trio of Mounir Zeghdoud, Mahieddine Meftah and Hadj Adlène, as USMA President Rebouh Haddad is still to appoint a new manager.
Midfielder Nassim Bouchema will be missing out while still recovering from a serious knee injury, but defender Farouk Chafaï and forward Kaddour Beldjilali are back into action with the ‘Red and Black’, who will also be able to count on new signing Hocine Benayada.
It will be the first continental meeting between the two sides, who, however, know each other perfectly from numerous battles on the domestic stage.
In their last two clashes in the Algerian league, USMA were held by the ‘Black Eagle’ to a 1-1 draw last August before falling 3-2 in Sétif in January.
The match will kick off at Stade du 8 mai 1945 at 23h30
CAT on Saturday 27 June.