ES Setif player Chemseddin Nessakh (L) and Mouloudia Club d'Alger player Abou Sofiane Balegh (R) fight for the ball during the CAF Champions League soccer match between ES Setif of Algeria and Mouloudia Club d'Alger of Algeria at the 8 May 1945 Stadium Setif ,Algeria , 15 May 2018. © BackpagePix
Monday Jul 16, 2018. 12:00
ES Setif will host Difaa El Jadidi for a must-win CAF Champions League clash at the 8 May 1945 Stadium on Tuesday, July 17, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.
The Algerian giants, who won this competition as recently as 2014, come into the game placed rock bottom of Group B with zero points.
The Black Eagles opened their group phase campaign with a crushing 4-1 loss away to DR Congo heavyweights TP Mazembe, then succumbed 1-0 at home to local rivals MC Alger before the tournament went on recess for the 2018 World Cup.
Their Moroccan opponents have fared little better. Difaa claimed a creditable 1-1 draw away to MCA and then went down 2-0 at home to Mazembe to leave themselves in a position where they too cannot afford to lose this midweek clash.
ESS have been preparing in a camp at the National Olympic centre under the tutelage of new coach Rachid Taoussi. Midfielder Mohamed Islam Bakir knows this is a high-pressure game for the home team.
“As far as we are concerned, I think we have no choice. We must impose ourselves and nothing else,” said Bakir, as quoted by Competition.dz.
“We remain on two consecutive defeats and we will have to avoid at all costs another misstep, especially at home.
“We will do our best to try to win the match. It will be the best scenario to continue our continental course and start the new season under good auspices.”
Difaa have been boosted by the signing of Nigerian forward Athony Okpotu, who is set to make his official debut for the Moroccan club in this North African derby.
Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will take charge of this game in Setif, while the other Group B clash sees Mazembe host MCA in Lubumbashi at 14h00 CAT.