Preview: Zamalek chase first-ever Confederation Cup title as they face Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 27 Apr 2019

File photo of Zamalek Players Celebrate (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Zamalek will be hoping to continue their journey towards a CAF Confederation Cup win when they host Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel in the first leg of the tournament's semifinals at Petro Sport Stadium on Sunday.

The Cairo giants booked their place in the semifinals by beating Hassania Agadir of Morocco 1-0 on aggregate, while Etoile du Sahel smashed Sudanese side Al-Hilal 5-2 on aggregate.

"You have to do your best to achieve a big result at home as well as reaching the final game and gaining the title," Zamalek's Swiss manager Christian Gross told his team's players ahead of the game.

Zamalek will do without efficient Tunisian midfielder Ferjani Sassi, who underwent a surgery on his foot last week and will be out of action for up to six weeks, according to the Tunisian Football Federation (TFF).

Sassi fractured his foot during in Zamalek's 1-0 win over Hassania Agadir in the second leg of the quarter-final second-leg last Sunday. The team maintained their lead after he was replaced in the first half, to reach the semis.

The 27-year-old has been a revelation since joining Zamalek from Saudi side Al-Nasr last summer, scoring seven goals and providing three assists.

The Whites also will miss the services of Moroccan striker Khalid Boutaib and right back Hazem Emam due to injuries.

Apart from the absence of Sassi, Boutaib and Emam, Zamalek have an almost fully fit squad to choose from.

Zamalek, winners of the elite African Champions League for five times, have never won the Confederation Cup, the continent's secondary club competition.

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