Preview: Zamalek set for an easy test against Libya's Abu Salim in CAF Confederation Cup

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 25 Nov 2023

Zamalek are preparing to kick off their campaign in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup against underdogs Abu Salim from Libya.



The match is scheduled to take place on Sunday at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab stadium.

The Cairo giants find themselves in Group B, alongside Abo Selim from Libya, Guinea's SOAR, and Angola's Sagrada Esperanca.

Zamalek secured their place in the group stage of the secondary continental tournament after a 4-3 aggregate victory over Djibouti's Arta Solar.

Abo Selim, on the other hand, reached this stage after prevailing over Uganda's Kampala Capital City with an aggregate score of 5-4.

Zamalek's interim coach, Moatamed Gamal, emphasized the importance of a strong start in the CAF Confederation Cup group stage, refusing to underestimate their upcoming opponent.

Gamal stated that the team has prepared diligently for Sunday's game, acknowledging that Zamalek's previous starts in the Confederation Cup were not successful.

"Our opponent is a newcomer to the Confederation Cup, but they play modern football," explained Gamal during the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

"They have a host of excellent players and a top technical staff. They have also managed to defeat big names in the preliminary round."

Highlighting the significance of a strong opening game, Gamal stressed that there would be no room for complacency and that his players would give their best performance.

Zamalek will have to navigate the match without the services of defender Mahmoud Alaa, who is nursing a muscle injury, and Hossam Abdel-Meguid, who sustained a nose injury during the Olympic national team camp.

Additionally, left-back Abdallah Gomaa, winger Mostafa Shalaby, and defender Mahmoud Hamdi El-Wensh will be sidelined due to injuries.

The suspended trio of Ahmed Fattouh, Mohamed Sobhi, and Mostafa El-Zenari will continue to be absent from the squad.

Despite the absences, Gamal expressed confidence in the team's experienced players and mentioned that they would utilize certain players in different positions to compensate for the absence of their teammates.

On the opposing side, Abu Salim's coach, Shokri El-Khatwi, affirmed that his team had nothing to lose against Zamalek and would adopt an attacking approach to pursue victory.

"Zamalek is a big and experienced team, but Abu Salim is an ambitious team aiming to progress to the next round of the tournament," stated El-Khatwi.

"We will play to win and rely on the positive attitude of our talented squad."

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