The Egypt champion Ahly have a number of hurdles to overcome in Conakry on Friday when the injury-plagued Cairo giants face Horoya AC of Guinea in the first-leg of in the African Champions League quarters.
Despite a poor start in the competition's group stage as they lost five points in their first two games, Ahly qualified for the quarter finals as group leaders after claiming four successive wins.
The mediocre level of Ahly's rivals in the group stages, especially Kampala of Uganda and Township Rollers of Botswana, allowed the eight-time African champions to bounce-back quickly from their slow start.
But It will not be as easy for Ahly on Friday when the Red Devils face a tougher opponent in the Guineans, who qualified for the last top eight at the expense of 2016 African Champions Sundowns of South Africa after securing the second place in Group C behind leaders Wydad de Casablanca of Morocco.
Ahly's mission in Conakry will be further complicated as the giants enter Friday's clash without a number of key players.
Winger Mido Gaber, who produced many fine displays this season will miss Horoya clash due to injury.
Moreover, defensive midfielder Amr El-Soulaya and international striker Marwan Mohsen, who opened the scoring in the Pharaohs 6-0 win over Niger in the Nations Cup qualifiers on Saturday, will be absent due to injury."We are here to claim a positive result in Friday game," Ahly coach Patrice Carteron told the pre-match news conference.
"Horoya are a good team. But I repeat we will be looking for a good result away to make our mission easier in the second-leg that will take place in Cairo one week later."
The eight-time African champions are bidding for the first Champions League title since 2013.
"It is true that the team suffers many absences but the players are ready for Friday clash." Ahly skipper and team captain Hossam Ashour added.
"Ahly players are experienced and they can cope with any circumstances."
"We are looking for the competition's title and we are determined to achieve our mission,' Ashour explained.
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