Sunday Jul 04, 2021. 11:00
Al Ahly manager Pitso Mosimane has warned that CAF Champions League final opponents Kaizer Chiefs will be well rested for the big game in just under two weeks’ time.
Ahly and Chiefs will meet at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Saturday 17 July, with the Egyptian side chasing a milestone and record-extending 10th Champions League title, while the South African underdogs will be appearing in their first CAFCL final.
Mosimane is worried that his team could be burned out, given that they are still completing their domestic season in the Egyptian Premier League and will face Smouha, Al Mokawloon and Misr El Makasa on July 4, 8 and 11 respectively.
Chiefs, meanwhile, have the opposite problem: they have been inactive since the second leg of their semifinal tie against Wydad Casablanca over two weeks ago, and organising friendly matches is difficult given the surge of Covid-19 cases in their home province of Gauteng in South Africa.
“I don’t know if it’s an advantage or a disadvantage. If you say it’s an advantage [for Ahly], then Kaizer Chiefs are not playing and they don’t have injuries and all that,” Mosimane told Egyptian media, as quoted by The South African.
“You can say it’s a disadvantage for us, we might get injuries and overload from too many games from playing catch-up in the Egyptian league. You look at it the way you want to. It’s very tricky.”
Mosimane is looking to win a third Champions League in his career, having guided Ahly through the latter stages of the competition last season, after taking over from predecessor Rene Weiler, as well as claiming the title with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.