Preview: Zamalek start CAF Confederation Cup campaign with easy test against Arta Solar

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 15 Sep 2023

Zamalek is set to kick off their CAF Confederation Cup campaign with an away match against Arta Solar of Djibouti in the first leg of the round of 32 in Tanzania on Saturday.



The Whites, who have been under a FIFA-imposed transfer ban this season, have refrained from making any new signings.

However, they aim to start the season on a positive note by securing a favorable result against the relatively minor Arta Solar.

This is seen as a crucial step for Zamalek to regain their place on the podium, which they missed out on last season.

The transfer ban will be lifted once the club settles the outstanding dues owed to Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon.

Zamalek will be without two of their key international players, Ahmed 'Zizo' Sayed and Ahmed Fatouh, for their Confederation Cup opener. Both players sustained injuries during their national team duties.

Zizo suffered an injury during Egypt's 3-1 friendly loss to Tunisia, while Fatouh picked up his injury in a training session the day before the match.

After winning the Confederation Cup title in 2019, Zamalek is making their return to the tournament following their third-place finish in the Egyptian Premier League last season.

In previous editions, the club had been regular participants in the CAF Champions League.

Zamalek failed to secure any trophies last season, as they were eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage and exited the Egypt Cup.

On the other hand, Arta Solar has made history by becoming the first Djiboutian club to progress past the first round of the Confederation Cup.

They achieved this feat by defeating Somalia's Horseed SC with an impressive 6-0 aggregate score.

The second leg of the round of 32 will be held in the first week of October.

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