Preview: Wounded Ahly face TP Mazembe for ticket to CAF Champions League final

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 19 Apr 2024

Ahly, wounded by a recent loss to Zamalek in the Egyptian Premier League, take on TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League semifinals.



The first leg is in Lubumbashi on Saturday, with Ahly aiming for a positive result to uplift their disappointed supporters.

As reigning champions, Ahly have excelled in the tournament, leading their group and defeating Simba SC 3-0 in the quarterfinals.

In the Egyptian League, injuries have hindered Ahly, resulting in a 4-3 loss to NBE, a 2-2 draw with Enppi, a narrow 1-0 win over ZED FC, and a 2-1 loss to Zamalek.

Coach Marcel Koller faces TP Mazembe without key players, including El-Shennawy, Yasser Ibrahim, Aliou Dieng, Emam Ashour, and Hussein El-Shahat.

He will rely on Wissem Abou Ali and Percy Tau, who recently recovered from injury.

Koller expressed hope for Tau's availability, saying, "He trained with the team for three days, and we are working on preparing him."

Home advantage

TP Mazembe, who secured their spot in the semifinals by defeating Angola's Petro Atletico 2-1 on aggregate, will have the advantage of playing at home.

They previously defeated Egyptian side Pyramids FC 3-0 in the same stadium during the group stage of the prestigious tournament last February.

"I watched the TP Mazembe vs. Pyramids FC game, and while the latter missed several scoring chances, the hosts capitalized on theirs and achieved victory," Koller pointed out during the pre-game press conference on Friday.

"We are well aware of the difficult atmosphere, but our target is to achieve a positive result that will benefit us in the second leg," the Swiss coach added.

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