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CAFCC Quarterfinal First Leg Preview: US Monastir (TUN) vs. ASEC Mimosas (CIV)

Last season’s Tunisia Ligue 1 Professionnelle runners-up US Monastir want to earn an advantage at home when they host famous Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas in the first leg of their 2022-23 CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal clash on Sunday. The club from Tunisia’s central coast finished second place in Group D behind Young Africans but are more than capable of making a deep run. ASEC, winners of Group B, will need to be cautious but have a talented young squad who have not lost in domestic or continental play since mid-February.

Monastir are competing in three different competitions at the moment and the timing is not ideal for the Tunisian club. A couple of notable injuries gives head coach Darko Nović plenty to consider ahead of the important first leg where the most important priority is avoiding the concession of away goals that would make their task more difficult for the return leg in Abidjan. Niger national team star Youssouf Oumarou is an important presence in the midfield but is a doubt to participate on Sunday after an extended spell out of the team due to injury. Forward Zied Aloui has five goals in all competitions this season but is another player who may miss out.

However, Nović will have Tunisia national team goalkeeper Bechir Ben Saïd back from injury and Tunisia’s starting shot stopper at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations possesses reliable reflexes. French-born playmaker Haykeul Chikhaoui is the most important player in the attack and with creativity and set piece skill providing five assists for USM in Confederation Cup play. Chikhaoui and his fellow midfielders will attempt to provide service to a big target in Malian striker Boubacar Traoré, a 23-year-old former Stade Malien player who arrived from Hungarian football in January and made his debut for the Mali senior national team in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

ASEC are enjoying another successful season in Côte d’Ivoire’s Ligue 1 and are well on their way to repeating as champions of Ivorian domestic football. Les Mimos continue to find success with the many young players that the club’s youth system produces along with some veteran players who have experience at high levels. Head coach Julien Chevalier has a big challenge considering that his team are in the midst of a busy period of their schedule and Sunday’s match will be the fourth match in ten days for ASEC.

Chevalier’s squad possesses experience in the defense with the youth emphasized more in the attack. Former Ivory Coast national team and TP Mazembe defender Wonlo Coulibaly will lead the defensive line from a central position. Goalkeeper Charles Folly enjoyed a successful competition for Ivory Coast at the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN), resulting in his debut for the senior Elephants team in a 2-0 victory at Comoros on March 28 in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. 27-year-old attacker Aubin Kramo is the main scoring threat with twelve goals in all competitions this season with younger attackers Karamoko Sankara, Salidou Diarrassouba and Pacôme Zouzoua also options who can threaten the Monastir defense.

More on the match is in the links below.

L’Asec à l’épreuve de l’US Monastir (Sport-Ivoire.ci)

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