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Preview: Carteron's Ahly eye Champions League quarters in game against Tunisia's Esperance

Eslam Omar , Thursday 16 Aug 2018
Ahly
Al Ahly's Walid Azaro celebrates scoring a goal with team mates (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Ahly is set to face Esperance de Tunis in a Champions League group stage game in Tunisia on Friday with the aim of securing a place in the competition's quarters.

The eight-time African champions need one point from their two remaining games in their Group A against already qualified Esperance and Uganda's Kampala to advance to the next round.

Ahly are currently second in the group with seven points, three points behind Esperance who top the group with 10 points. 

"We will go to Tunisia to win. Maybe a draw will be a good result given other circumstances," Ahly coach Patrice Carteron told the CAF official website on Thursday.

"But if we want to have a chance to win the group, maximum points in Tunisia will qualify us to the next round. We go there with a lot of motivation."

"Depending on the result, if we have to qualify from the last game against Kampala we'll do it."

Ahly's mission will not be easy against a good Tunisian side that will be looking to avenge their defeat against Ahly last term.

Last year, despite being held to a 2-2 at home by the Tunisians in the first-leg of the competition's quarters, Ahly stunned Esperance 2-1 in Tunis to advance to the next round.

"What I believe is that we play every game as a final game. We'll play in Tunisia as if it's the final, and against Kampala City we'll do the same. What we need to do is to work very hard and then we can play against any team," Carteron said.

"I feel it would be fantastic to finish first and have the second game at home because you never know what can happen away."

"But I don't want to think which team is better to face because all the teams that qualify to the quarter final are fantastic teams and we have to respect them all. But, first, we have to respect ourselves and perform well," the Frenchman explained.

Ahly will miss the efforts of defensive midfielder Hossam Ashour on Friday due to automatic suspension, but they will regain the services of midfielder Amr El-Sulaya who recovered from a muscle injury.

Ahly will end their group stage campaign with the game against Kampala in Alexandria's Borg El-Arab stadium on the 28 th of this month.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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