Orlando Pirates boss Eric Tinkler believes Zamalek will be keen to avoid a repeat of their 4-1 Champions League loss to the South Africans two years ago, expecting the Cairo giants to pack their defences this time around ahead of their Confederation Cup meeting in Nelspruit on Saturday.
Both clubs will meet for the first time since their last Champions League group-stage encounters in 2013, where Zamalek were thumped 4-1 away from home before beating the Buccaneers 2-1 at Gouna Stadium the following month.
Speaking to the Daily Sun, Tinkler thinks Zamalek will refrain from playing an open game – a strategy which he attributed the Cairo side's crushing defeat to two years ago.
“I don’t think Zamalek will make the same mistake they made two years ago when they played an open game and we beat them 4-1 at Orlando Stadium in the Champions League," Tinkler said.
“I think they will have learnt their lesson from that game. They’ll pack their defence and try to hit us on the counter-attack.
The South African manager, however, acknowledged Zamalek's tactical strengths despite still having weaknesses in defence that his side will be determined to exploit.
“I have watched their recent domestic matches, including their 1-0 win over Sfaxien. They are tactically very strong and a top side.”
“They have certain weaknesses in defence which we can exploit. That is where my attack has to be on the ball.
“I reckon nine points will be enough to get through to the semifinals. But it is vital to win our home games and try to sneak in points away from home like we did against Leopards, and we’ll be home and dry.”
“At least we will have a decent pitch to play Zamalek on. The Leopards ground was really bad but we managed to get a win – that’s all that mattered.”
Both Zamalek and Orlando Pirates secured narrow wins in their Group B openers, with the Egyptians prevailing 1-0 against Tunisia's Sfaxien in Cairo, as the Bucs edged out DR Congo's Leopards with the same score line in the other group game.
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