Ahmed Abdel Gaber (L) of Al Ahly fights for the ball with Mohamed Youssef of ES Tunis during the CAF Champions League final 1st leg match between Al Ahly and ES Tunis at Borg Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 02 November 2018. EPA/Mohamed Hossam
Friday Nov 09, 2018. 12:12
Al Ahly will be aiming to claim a record extending ninth Caf Champions League crown when they lock horns with Espérance Sportive de Tunis in the second-leg of the 2018 Caf Champions League final at the Stade Olympique de Radès on Friday evening.
Kick-off is at 21h00 (SA, GMT+2).
The Egyptian giants head into the fixture on the back of a 3-1 win in the reverse fixture at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria last weekend.
Walid Soliman bagged a brace from the penalty spot for the 'Red Devils' in a game marred by controversy. Amr El Sulya also found the back of the net for Egyptians with Youcef Belaili netting what could prove to be a vital away goal for Espérance.
Both teams will be without several key players with Walid Azaro having grabbed the headlines in build-up to the second-leg, following his two game suspension for ripping his own shirt in an attempt to con the match official last weekend.
Al Ahly's attempts to reverse the decision have proven unsuccessful. Espérance will be without both Chamseddine Dhaouadi and Franck Kom with the duo suspended after picking up respective yellow cards in Alexandria.
"All of us are focused in the game, especially that we are facing a tough opponent who has good players in every section," Al Ahly head coach Patrice Carteron, who is aiming to win his second CafCL title, said in build-up to the clash.
“I would like to thank fans traveling to Tunisia to support us. I am honored to be leading Al Ahly and winning the title is the only thing I am thinking about right now.”
Moreover, Espérance coach Mouine Chaabani remains positive that his side can deny Al Ahly a ninth title and lift what would be their third continental crown.
"We have to forget the first leg result and prepare well for the second leg game," said Chaabani.
"Preparing the players psychologically is the most important point ahead of the game.
"Esperance players don't need motivation as they all have a target to achieve."
If Espérance are to come up trumps, they would end a 10-game winless run against Al Ahly.