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Preview: New coach Carteron eyes winning start against Botswana's Township Rollers as Ahly resume African duty

Ahram Online , Monday 16 Jul 2018
Ahly
Ahly's French coach Patrice Carteron (Photo: facebook.com/Officialahlysc/)
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Egypt's champions Ahly are to resume their Champions League adventure on Tuesday when they face the Township Rollers of Botswana at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium.

The clash will mark the debut of French coach Patrice Carteron who replaced Hossam El-Badry as Ahly's new manager last month.

Despite guiding the Red Devils to their 40th league title in their history last season, El-Badry lost his post due to the team's poor results in the Champions League group stage.

The eight-time African champions started their group stage campaign with a disappointing goaless draw at home with Esperance de Tunis, before slumping to a 2-0 loss to Uganda's Kampala City, slipping to the bottom of Group A with a solitary point from their opening two matches.

Esperance lead the group with six points, followed by Kampala and Township Rollers with three each.

With this current critical situation in the group, Ahly have no choice but to win on Tuesday to keep their hopes alive in the continental tournament.

"I know we are in a very difficult situation," Carteron told CAF Online on Sunday.

"We have a single point from two matches and that's not the way it should be. We have nothing but to do our best in the coming games, starting from Township Rollers game at home.

"The maximum points are our target and then let's see what happens next."

Ahly started their preparations for the champions League earlier this month with a seven days training camp in Croatia before resuming preparations in Cairo.

Despite signing many players in the inter-season, Ahly have not registered any new players in their African list despite news surrounding the possible registration of Malian defender Salif Koulibali. The club should offload one of their four foreign-based players to make room for the Malian defender.  

Winger Moemen Zakareya, who spent the last six months at Saudi club Ahly Jeddah, has returned to Ahly, and his presence will give then an offensive boost for Tuesday's clash.

The Frenchman, who won the Champions League title with Congolese club TP Mazembe in 2015, will be hoping to help Ahly win Tuesday's clash in his first appearance with the team to revive their hopes of securing one of the two qualifying tickets of the group and to advance in the continental tournament.

Ahly have won the Champions League title eight times, but not since 2013. They reached the final last year but lost to Moroccan side Wydad de Casablanca 2-1 on aggregate. 

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

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