JS Kabylie hoping to maintain perfect home record against ES Tunis

JS Kabylie hoping to maintain perfect home record against ES Tunis
JS Kabylie team picture during the CAF Champions League 2022/23 match between Wydad and JS Kabylie held at Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco on 2 April 2023 ©Nour Akanja/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Apr 20, 2023. 15:00

JS Kabylie will be looking to make home advantage count when they welcome ES Tunis to the 5 July 1962 Stadium on Friday night in the first leg of their CAF Champions League quarter-final tie.

Kick-off is at 11pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)

Miloud Hamdi’s side won all five of their home games in the competition this season, beating Casa Sports and ASKO Kara in the preliminary rounds at the 8 May 1945 Stadium in Setif before triumphing over Wydad Casablanca, AS Vita Club and Petro de Luanda in Algiers during the group stages.

JSK finished runners-up to defending champions Wydad in Group A to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since 2010, when they bowed out to TP Mazembe in the semi-finals.

The record 14-time Algerian champions have struggled to replicate the form that saw them claim second place in the Ligue Professionnelle 1 last term, with a 1-0 defeat to Paradou AC on April 9 leaving them four points adrift of safety in 15th position.

However, Hamdi has urged his players to set aside their domestic problems in order to concentrate fully on the Blood and Gold, who have already beaten CR Belouizdad at the same venue in Group D this year.

“We have to forget the championship and focus only on the match against EST,” he said. “We have to play our chances to the fullest. Qualification will be decided over two rounds and we have to do our best to achieve the best possible result.”

Esperance reached the last eight for the seventh year running after they topped Group D by a point ahead of the Great Chabab, having lost just once in their six matches.

Nabil Maaloul’s team failed to win their last three group encounters, however, and have struggled for results on their travels in the competition, winning only one of four away ties.

The Tunisian giants recently finished top of Group A in the Ligue Professionnelle 1 to qualify for the playoffs and suffered their first defeat in five games after going down 2-0 to Olympique Beja on April 16.

They are amongst the favourites to lift the coveted trophy for a fourth time, having won back-to-back titles as recently as 2018 and 2019.

The two clubs have met twice before; they were paired in the same group during the 2019-20 Champions League campaign, with JS Kabylie winning 1-0 in Tizi Ouzou after ES Tunis came out on top by the same scoreline in Rades.

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