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Preview: Zamalek fears history will repeat against Orlando Pirates in CAF Confederation Cup

Zamalek face Orlando Pirates in the second matchday of the CAF Confederation Cup on Saturday

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 10 Jul 2015
Zamalek
Zamalek's players (Photo: Ahram)
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Egypt's Zamalek and South Africa's Orlando Pirates are set to face off in the Confederation Cup group-stage second match day at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday at 15:00 CLT.

Zamalek, who won their first game in the group stage 1-0 over Tunisian side Sfaxien in Cairo, arrived in South Africa to face the Orlando Pirates in the shadow of the 2013 season when they lost 4-1 to their hosts in the CAF Champions League.

The Cairo giants will be looking for their second win in the CAF Confederation Cup to maintain their Group B lead.

The Whites have the chance to avenge their defeat to Orlando Pirates in South Africa as they are strengthening their squad, unlike the 2013 season. They are close to snatching the Egyptian Premier League title and have booked a place in the CAF Champions League thanks to newly signed players.

The two sides' upcoming game marks their first-ever meeting in the Confederation Cup, as they have only met twice in the CAF Champions League during the 2013 season.

Egyptian league leaders, Zamalek, will face Orlando Pirates on the back of a 3-0 league victory over Ismaily a few days ago.

Key players missing

Zamalek flew to South Africa without six key players ahead of Saturday's anticipated African Confederation Cup test, missing Omar Gaber, Hazem Emam, Ahmed Ali, Ahmed Dewidar, Youssef Obama and Mahmoud Abdel-Rehim 'Genish' due to injury.

"We travelled with a reduced squad as injury has sidelined six of our key players," Zamalek's football director Ismail Youssef was quoted as saying on the club's official website.

"We have full confidence in the other traveling players to cover the absence of their injured teammates and to return with a positive result," he added.

Zamalek are leading their Group B by three points, sharing the points with foes Orlando Pirates, while Congo's AC Leopards and Tunisia's Sfaxien gained no points from the first match.

Orlando Pirates boss Eric Tinkler expects Zamalek to pack their defences this time around ahead of their Confederation Cup meeting in Nelspruit on Saturday.

"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," the tactician concluded.

Orlando Pirates secured a narrow 1-0 win over DR Congo's Leopards in the first day of the group stage test two weeks ago.

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

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