Win or bust for Espérance against Ahly

Win or bust for Espérance against Ahly
Al Ahly and Esperance will renew rivalry on Saturday in the Confederation Cup

by Staff Reporter

Friday Aug 21, 2015. 17:46

Espérance de Tunis will host Al Ahly in Radès on Saturday, in matchday five of the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup.

The ‘Blood and Gold’, who recorded their first win in the competition against Stade Malien in Bamako following three consecutive losses, are bringing up the rear in Group A on three points. And anything but a home victory against the Cairo giants will see them bow out of Africa’s second-tier club tournament.

Boosted by the return of former football chairman Riadh Bennour at the helm of their technical staff, Espérance will be desperate to bounce back after their elimination in the quarterfinals of the Tunisian Cup, as well as seek revenge against Ahly, who thrashed them 3-0 in Suez in their continental campaign opener.

However, the Tunisians will have to do without centre-back Ali Machani, who is suspended for accumulation of bookings.

The ‘Red Devils’, who are lying second in the group table on seven points, will seal their spot in the last four should they grab all three points in Radès and Stade Malien fail to defeat Etoile du Sahel in the other fixture, while a draw could also prove enough for the eight-time African champions if Etoile win in Bamako.

And while Ahly boss Fathi Mabrouk remains wary of their opponents, the ambition is high in the Egyptian camp despite the absence of the injured trio of Ahmed Fathi, Saleh Gomaa and Amr Gamal.

“The Esperance match will not be an easy one. The appointment of new technical staff will boost the players' morale and they will also enjoy the support of their fans in the stands,” Mabrouk told the club’s official website.

“We studied the opponents well through the video of their last match in the Tunisia Cup. We won't play only for securing a spot in the semifinals, but to win and regain the group lead.”

The match will kick off at Stade Olympique de Radès at 19h00 CAT on Saturday 22 August 2015.

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