Preview: Rookie Pyramids FC eye winning start in Champions League group stage against TP Mazembe

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 23 Nov 2023

Pyramids FC, making their debut in the CAF Champions League, are eager to kick off their Group Stage campaign with a victory as they face TP Mazembe from Congo at Cairo's Air Defence Stadium on Friday.



This match presents an opportunity for Pyramids FC to seek retribution for their 2-0 aggregate defeat against TP Mazembe in last season's Confederation Cup quarterfinals.

Both teams showcased their prowess in the previous round of the Champions League, securing their Group Stage spots with impressive performances.

Pyramids FC achieved a commanding 6-1 aggregate victory over Rwanda's APR, while TP Mazembe triumphed with a comprehensive 5-0 aggregate win against Malawi's Big Bullets.

Qualifying from the group will be no easy task, as Pyramids FC and TP Mazembe find themselves in a challenging group (Group A) alongside title contenders Mamelodi Sundowns and the lesser-fancied FC Nouadhibou from Mauritania.

“Our Group is very tough and we need to win in the opening game to make a good start in this difficult Group,” Pyramids FC skipper Abdallah El-Saed told the pre-match news conference on Thursday. 

Since their appearance in 2018, Pyramids FC have quickly become one of the powerhouses in the Egyptian league.

Despite their significant investments, they have yet to claim a title, falling short in the Egypt Cup final twice and the Confederation Cup final.

In an effort to strengthen their squad for domestic and continental competitions, Pyramids FC made crucial signings during the summer transfer window.

The absence of talented winger Mostafa Fathi and Moroccan midfielder Walid El Karti may not pose a major concern for coach Jaime Pacheco, who has alternative options such as Ramadan Sobhi, Mohanad Lashine, and Burkinabe midfielder Blate Toure at his disposal.

“We will face an experienced opponent who has a big name in the continent.” Pyramids FC coach Jaime Pacheco told the pre-match news conference.

“We participate in the Champions League for the first time but we are ready for all challenges.” 

While TP Mazembe, a five-time CAF Champions League winner and two-time Confederation Cup winner, maybe in a rebuilding phase, their wealth of continental experience makes them a resilient opponent.

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