Al Ahly look to consolidate top spot

Al Ahly look to consolidate top spot
epa07137919 Ahmed Fathy (R) of Al Ahly fights for the ball with Ghaylen Chaaleli 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/KHALED ELFIQI

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jan 31, 2019. 13:15

Al Ahly will look to consolidate their place at the top of Group D in the CAF Champions League when they host Simba SC in Alexandria on Saturday night. The match is slated for the Borg El Arab Stadium, kick-off at 21h00 CAT.

Ahly come into the clash having played to a 1-1 draw away to Algeria’s JS Saoura in Bechar on January 18, with the result leaving them one point clear of nearest chasers AS Vita at the top of the log.

The Red Devils went behind to a goal from Sid Ali Yahia Cherif in their match at JSS, but Karim Walid, also known as Nedved, netted in the 85th minute to ensure they came away from the game with a draw.

The Egyptian giants have had a tough season thus far, but their recent form is impressive: Ahly have put together a five-game unbeaten run and their draw in Algeria was followed by domestic victories over Misr El Makasa and Wadi Degla.

The Cairo club has also been boosted as Salah Mohsen, Hesham Mohamed and new signing Geraldo have recovered from their injuries and will be available for Saturday night.

Simba, meanwhile, have struggled for consistency. They are placed third on the Group D standings and have three points to their name (just one less than Ahly) but their last Champions League outing was a 5-0 loss in Kinshasa against AS Vita (who overtook them for second spot).

The Tanzanian giants also come into the game on the back of a surprise loss to Bandari of Kenya in the semifinals of the SportPesa Cup last weekend.

The other Group D match will be played at Stade des Martyrs earlier the same evening, with AS Vita v JS Saoura kicking off at 18h00 CAT.

Senegalese referee Maguette N’Diaye will take charge of the game in Alexandria.

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