Ahly Coach Koller downplays revenge talk ahead of Wydad clash, confirms El Shennawy's absence

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Jun 2023

Ahly coach Marcel Koller has downplayed talks of seeking revenge ahead of the Champions League final against Wydad Casablanca on Sunday at Cairo International Stadium

Ahly s Swiss coach Marcel Koller. AFP
Ahly s Swiss coach Marcel Koller. AFP


"I don't dwell on the past, and it doesn't affect us. Our focus is on the future and winning this title. The previous final was a single game, but now the situation has changed, and we will play two games," stated the Swiss coach during the pre-game conference.

Wydad secured a 2-0 victory over Ahly last year to claim their third Champions League title in a single-match format. However, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided to revert to the two-legged format starting from this season. The first leg will take place in Cairo on Sunday, with the return leg scheduled for Casablanca a week later.

Koller emphasized the importance of preventing goals and scoring at home. "Wydad is a big team, and it's not easy to score against them, but we will work towards achieving a favorable result before the away game in Morocco," he said.

The 62-year-old coach confirmed the absence of goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy, who is recovering from a calf injury, and stated that he didn't want to risk him in the first leg.

"El-Shennawy has only participated in training once in the past 17 days, but he will be fit for the away game in Morocco," he added.

Koller also dismissed earlier doubts regarding his team's ability to reach the final, as Ahly had to wait until the final day to secure their spot in the knockout stage.

"During the group stage, some people doubted our ability to reach the final. However, the team has made significant improvements, and we have progressed to the final," he concluded.

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