Preview: Favorites Ahly want to avoid surprises in champions league semis against Wydad

Ahram Online , Thursday 22 Oct 2020

Ahly took a step closer to the Champions League final after defeating Wydad de Casablanca 2-0 in the first leg in Morocco

Morocco's Wydad Casablanca v Egypt's Ahly

Despite earning a 2-0 first leg advantage in the Champions League semis, Ahly will be looking to avoid any surprises on Friday when they face Moroccan giants Wydad de Casablanca at Cairo stadium.

The Red Devils stunned the Moroccans at home last week, putting one foot in the Champions League final, and the visitors will be seeking a miracle in Cairo to reach the final at the expense of the Cairo giants.

Midfielder Mohamed Magdi opened the scoring for his side with an early goal, while Tunisian fullback Ali Maaloul confirmed the win after converting a penalty in the second half.

Ahly's technical staff asked the players to put the first leg behind them and focus on Friday's clash to secure their place in the final.

Theoretically, Wydad is far from posing a real threat to Ahly given their poor performance in the first leg at home, but Ahly should be cautious to avoid any kind of upset on Friday.    

"The second leg at home will be difficult because Wydad are capable of doing to us in Cairo what we did to them in Casablanca," Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane warned his players.

Ahly will play Friday’s clash with a full-strength squad as the team regained the services of lively winger Mahmoud 'Kahraba' Abdel-Moneam, who missed the first leg due to a muscle injury.

The 25-year-old trained normally during the past days, but it is unlikely that he will have a starting role on Friday.

Striker Marwan Mohsen and midfielder Mohamed Magdi are also fit to play after recovering from minor injuries sustained during the first leg.

On the other hand, the Moroccan side will have a mountain to climb in Cairo as they need to overturn their 2-0 first leg defeat at home.

The mission will not be easy for Wydad, who appeared technically and physically inferior to their opponent, but they have no choice but to fight fiercely to keep their slim hopes alive.

Wydad coach Miguel Gamondi will make many modifications to his squad, especially in the defence, with Ivorian defender Cheick Comara expected to start the game after fully recovering from his injury, according to Moroccan reports.

Reports also added that Congolese striker Kazadi Kasengu will start against Ahly at the expense of his Ivorian counterpart Gbagbo Junior Magbi, who produced a poor performance in the first leg.

The Argentinean coach hopes that his players will regain their form in Friday's clash, especially winger Badie Aouk and Ismail El-Haddad.

"We won't throw in the towel and we will fight, and the players must show that they belong to a big club like Wydad," coach Gamondi said after the first leg.

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