Zamalek, runner-up of the last CAF champions League, are in a difficult situation in the 2021 season of the CAF champions league with only 2 points after 3 of the 6 games of their group stage.
They face on Tuesday 16 March, four times African champions Esperance of Tunis with a new coach, Frenchman Patrice Carteron, back on the bench of the white knights six months after leaving them for Saudi Arabia club Al Taewoon.
He replaced portuguese Jaime Pacheco late last week
“In the last three or four days we were focusing on the motivation and bringing back the fighting spirit as well as enjoying playing footb all and mental preparation that we used to do before. So they are able to play tough games.” Patrice Carteron, Zamalek he ad coach explained.
As expresed in the Egyptian press, Zamalek players have not been affected by the change of coaches and “they are somewhat used to that”.
ES Tunis assistant coach, Mejdi Traoui, said on Monday that his side will not underestimate their opponents as they bid to qualify to the next round of the CAF Champions League on top of Group D when they face the Egyptian side on Tuesday.
“This is one of the great match ups out there, both teams are great and are well known across Africa. This match has prestige and holds a great place for both countries. If we have the opportunity, we will knock them out as Zamalek is a tough opponent and it would be better to see them out of the competition early so we don’t face them again. We always play to win and that is one of our goals. It’s to win tomorrow.”
Esperance will rely on their offensive newcomers such as Anice Badri who returned to the club in January and Ivorian striker William Togui loaned to the club from Belgium side Mechelen.
ES Tunis lead the standings on seven points after three matches. While MC Alger currently occupies second place on five points.