Egypt's Ahly will face a difficult test when they play Ethiopia's Jimma Aba Jifar in the African Champions League on Friday, according to caretaker coach Mohamed Youssef.
Runners-up Ahly will kick off their Champions League campaign when they host their Ethiopian counterparts in Alexandria in the first leg of the prestigious competition's round of 32.
"The Jifar match is a difficult one. We want to achieve a positive result to make our mission easier in the return match," Youssef was quoted as saying by Ahly's official website on Wednesday.
Ahly is currently led by caretaker coach Youssef, who took charge after the firing of French coach Patrice Carteron following the African Champions League final loss last month.
Ahly, who were given a bye into the round of 32, will face Jimaa in a two-legged tie for a place in the Champions League group stage.
The Red Devils were within touching distance of winning a record-extending ninth title this year, only to lose to Tunisia's Esperance 4-3 on aggregate after throwing away a 3-1 first-leg lead.
"I asked my players to be fully concentrated on the continental match and to forget about the domestic competition. I have full confidence in the players to achieve a positive result," the Ahly coach explained.
"We deal with every match separately. We studied the Ethiopian team well to get well-prepared for the match," he concluded.
The Reds, Ahly, have played just 10 league matches as opposed to 16 played by other teams due to participating in both the Champions League and the Arab Club Champions Cup (Zayed Champions Cup).
On Sunday, the Cairo giants continued their recent revival in the Egyptian League following a run of poor form; beating Talae El-Geish 2-0. The victory was the third successive league win under caretaker coach Youssef.
Ahly moved up from 5th place on the league table with 20 points from 10 matches, 15 behind archrivals Zamalek, who played four more matches.
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