File photo of Esperance (Reuters)
After securing a place in the 2021 African Champions League quarterfinals with one match to spare, Tunisian side Esperance’s assistant coach Magdy Traore revealed that his team will play the coming match against MC Alger of Algeria with the same tactics, but they will avoid losing any of their booked players in the coming games.
All eyes in Africa are on the game between Esperance and MC Alger in the last round of the African Champions League group stage on Saturday, as Egypt’s Zamalek await the result of the game, which will determine their fate in the prestigious competition.
Zamalek’s only hope to qualify lies in beating Senegal’s Teungueth at home on Saturday in their final game with the hope that Esperance defeat MC Alger. If this happens, the White Knights will advance because of their better head-to-head record with MC Alger.
Zamalek beat MC Alger 2-0 in the 5th round of Group D games last week, after the two sides held to goalless draw in the 1st round in February.
“We have to avoid losing any our booked players in the Champions League quarterfinals, but we will play with our ordinary tactics,” Traore said in a press conference.
Esperance will lose the services of a number of their talented players against MC Alger, including Ivorian midfielder Cedrik Gbo and Algerian defender Elias Shetty who are out due to injuries, as well as veteran defender Mohamed Ali Yacoubi who is out with three yellow cards.
Meanwhile, Esperance coach Moine Chaabani is expected not to call defender Hamdi Nagguez, and forwards Ghaylen Chaaleli and Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane, as they all have been shown two yellow cards so far in the group stage.
“We will play against MC Alger with our ideal starting lineup and we will play with our ordinary tactics as we have big experience while participating in the African Champions League,” Traore said.
“We only play for Esperance’s benefits, not for any other team.”
Already-qualified Esperance are in the driving seat of Group D with 10 points, two points over second placed MC Alger of Algeria, while Zamalek of Egypt are third with five points and Teungueth FC of Senegal placed 4th with four points.
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