Zamalek eye Champions League title despite tough group

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 May 2016

Avoiding Ahly in the CAF Champions League group stage eases the pressure on us but we respect all teams in our group, Zamalek's football director says

Ayman Hefny of Egypt's Zamalek and Lyes Boukria and Morgan of Algeria's Mouloudia Olympique Bejaia in action during CAF African Champions League soccer match between Egypt's Zamalek abd Algeria's Mouloudia Olympique Bejaia in Petro Sport stadium in Egypt, 9/4/2016 (Reuters)

Zamalek's football director Ismail Youssef has said that the draw for the 2016 CAF Champions League group stage will not be easy for the Whites even though they will avoid arch-rivals Ahly.

"Group B is very tough but still but we are capable of making it into the semis and competing for the title too," Youssef told the club's official website minutes after the draw was released.

The CAF Champions League group stage draw was held on Tuesday afternoon at the confederation's headquarters in Cairo.

Group A merged Zesco of Zambia with Ahly (Egypt), ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast) and Wydad Athletic of Morocco while group B combined Enyimba (Nigeria), Zamalek (Egypt), ES Setif (Algeria) and Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa).

Zamalek's football director Ismail Youssef
Ismail Youssef (Al-Ahram)

"We respect all opponents but we will remain optimistic and play to win."

"Avoiding Ahly eased the tension for both teams and would allow them to face-off in advanced stages," Youssef concluded.

Ahly have collected a series of African trophies including 8 Champions Leagues, one Confederation Cup and Six Super Cups while Zamalek have won 5 Champions Leagues and three Super Cups.

The record holders Ahly won the Champions League last time in 2013 while Zamalek's last title was in 2002.

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