Egyptian Premier League runners-up Zamalek will kick off their African Champions League campaign at home on Friday when they host Dekedaha FC of Somalia in the first leg of the tournament's preliminary round at Petrosport Stadium.
The Whites' icon Tarek Yehia, who has been named as Zamalek’s caretaker coach for one week until management concludes negotiations with a foreign coach, is in charge of the team during the game.
"Our players have reached an advanced stage on the technical and fitness levels, everybody is fully concentrated and ready for the upcoming game," Yehia told Zamalek's official website.
Zamalek’s squad will be boosted by the new faces they signed and registered in the team’s African squad during the summer transfer window when they host Dekedaha FC of Somalia.
The Confederation of African Football Cup title holders, Zamalek, named all their newly signed players in the team's African squad including former full back Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, forward Karim Bambo who joined the team from Ismaili, Moroccan winger Achraf Bencharki and Moroccan winger Mohamed Ounajem.
The Whites’ squad for the game also included newly signed goalkeepers Mohamed Awad and Mohamed Abo Gabal.
Moroccan Khaled Boutaib, Tarek Hamed, Ferjani Sassi and Abdallah Gomaa have been excluded from Zamalek’s squad for the game.
The second-leg game will be played in Egypt on 24 August, after the Somali side asked Zamalek to host the game.
The new season of the CAF Champions League will be historic as an August-to-May season is introduced and the final is reduced from two legs to one match at a neutral venue.
There will also be a record 14 previous winners involved, including eight-time trophy-holders Ahly of Egypt.
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