Preview: Do-or-die for Zamalek in Champions League clash against Esperance

Ahram Online , Monday 6 Mar 2023

Zamalek are in a must win situation when they take on Tunisian giants Esperance on Tuesday at home to revive their hopes of advancing to the CAF Champions League quarter-finals.

Zamalek Midfielder Dounga in action during the match between Esperance and Zamalek on Saturday 25 February, 2023. Photo courtesy of Zamalek Twitter account.


The White Knights are bottom of the group with only one point after three games and face the spectre of groupstage elimination for the third season in a row. 

Zamalek, led by Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira, are seeking to compensate for their 2-0 defeat against Esperance in the last round at Rades stadium.

Their task is becoming more challenging due to the absence of several key players including Mahmoud "Shikabala" Abdel-Razek, Omar Jaber, Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, and Abdallah Gomaa.

At the pre-match press conference, Ferreira stressed the importance of the match and the difficulty of the situation.

"We need to win a match in order to bounce back to winning ways. We are under a lot of pressure after winning the league twice in a row, and I hope that the players are up to the responsibility and decide to win the match," according to Ferreira. 

Despite the challenges, Ferreira expressed confidence in the team's overall performance.

"The overall performance of Zamalek in the past three matches was good, even if we could not score goals," he said. 

On the other hand, the Tunisian visitors are also missing several players including Mohamed Ali Ben Hammouda, Moatez Zaddem, Raed Fadaa, and Zied Machmoum. But that doesn't make Zamalek's mission any easier as they are facing the group's leader who has had a perfect run until now.

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