After keeping their hopes of reaching the African Champions quarterfinals alive, Zamalek have no choice except to beat Senegal's Teungueth at home in their group stage final game on Saturday, hoping Esperance of Tunisia could defeat MC Alger of Algeria to march on in prestigious competition.
Zamalek will host Teungueth FC at Cairo international stadium in the sixth round of Group D games on Saturday with big motivation to reach the African Champions League's last eight.
The Cairo giants' only hope to qualify lies in beating Senegal’s Teungueth at home in their final game with the hope that Esperance defeat MC Alger. If this happens, the White Knights will advance because of their better head-to-head record with MC Alger.
Already-qualified Esperance are in the driving seat of Group D with 10 points, two points over second placed MC Alger of Algeria, while Zamalek of Egypt are third with five points and Teungueth FC of Senegal are placed fourth with four points.
Zamalek was on the brink of quitting the Champions League from the group stage but they kept their qualifying hopes alive after beating MC Alger 2-0 in their penultimate group-stage game last week.
"We have to beat Teungueth first then wait for the result of the game between Esperance and MC Alger, so we will play to win," said Zamalek’s Assistant Coach Osama Nabih.
Zamalek’s assistant coach also said that he expects fair play in the decisive match between Tunisia’s Esperance and Algeria’s MC Alger.
"Fair play is already the slogan of FIFA and Zamalek doesn’t need to ask [teams] to adhere to it,” Nabih added.
From his side Esperance’s Assistant Coach Magdy Traore revealed that his team will play the coming match against MC Alger of Algeria with the same tactics, but they will avoid losing any of their booked players in the upcoming games.
"We have to avoid losing any [of] our booked players in the Champions League quarterfinals, but we will play with our ordinary tactics,” Traore said at a press conference.
"We will play against MC Alger with our ideal starting line-up and we will play with our ordinary tactics as we have big experience while participating in the African Champions League,” added Traore.
Under the guidance of French Coach Patrice Carteron, five-time African champions Zamalek are searching for their first Champions League title since 2002.
"I am confident of the players' ability to achieve the victory over Teungueth," Carteron was quoted as saying on Zamalek's official website during the final training session ahead of the game.
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