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CAFCL Preview: Al Ahly (EGY) vs. Coton Sport (CMR)

Egypt’s Al Ahly SC will attempt to bounce back in Group B when the Red Devils return to CAF Champions League play on Saturday for a home matchup against Cameroonian champions Coton Sport de Garoua. A win is necessary for the current Egyptian Premier League leaders who are five points behind second placed Al-Hilal Omdurman in Group B and six points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns after a defeat and a draw from their first two matches. Coton Sport are out of the discussion for a top-2 spot with defeats in their first two games and Les Cotonniers are once again heavy underdogs in Cairo.

Ahly’s domestic form continues to be excellent but Marcel Koller’s side are encountering great difficulty in Group B so far, losing to Al-Hilal in Sudan and forced to accept a 2-2 draw at home against an on fire Sundowns team. Koller blamed a lack of focus for his team’s Group B opener defeat to Hilal rather than match congestion but is eager to get back on track with a victory on Saturday.

Koller also acknowledged his team will not be at full strength due to injuries. Midfielder Amr El Solia remains out with a muscle injury and talented forward Ahmed Abdelkader appears doubtful as well due to a knee injury. Mohamed Abdelmonem should return to the starting eleven for Ahly in the center of defense with Mahmoud Metwaly out injured, likely forming a partnership with Yasser Ibrahim. Percy Tau, Taher Mohamed and Mohamed Magdy “Afsha” should play roles and recently signed Algerian midfielder Ahmed Kendouci could also be involved on Saturday.

Coton Sport know that a fatigued and weakened team await them in Cairo and pre-match comments from the team indicate they believe there is a chance of snatching a result. Indeed a loss will result in a premature elimination from contention for a spot in the CAFCL quarterfinals so Les Cottoniers must avoid defending for the entire match. Coach Gabriel Haman stated his team is eager to take on the challenge of facing Ahly and his young squad have shown moments of promise in home defeats to Al-Hilal and Sundowns.

Les Cottoniers captain Mamoudou Hassana went a step further than his coach and declared the Cameroonian club is in Cairo to claim the full three points. The right back, a member of Cameroon’s 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) team, forms a capable defense with rising star Che Malone but the unit has not performed to their full potential in CAF Champions League play. Patient Wassou is a talented 18-year-old attacker who scored a goal in each group stage match so far and will be focused on making it three in a row.

More on both teams are in the links below.

LDC CAF : Coton Sport est au Caire (Camfoot)

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