Ahly face tough Mazembe test
Al Ahly admit that they are in for a tough time when they welcome DR Congo side TP Mazembe to Cairo for their CAF Champions League Group B clash on Sunday.
Ahli coach Hossam Al-Badri says the strength of their opponent, and the lack of competitive action for his side, will count against them.
“It's going to be a very difficult one. Mazembe is a very tough team and have a good reputation on the continent,” Al-Badri told Cafonline.com.
“On the other hand Ahli are still in the pre-season preparations' phase and the players still to gain their full physical and technical fitness yet.
“It's tricky to kick off the campaign with such a difficult game, especially that our players lack local competitive football since the suspension of domestic football activities.”
Mazembe were winners of this competition in 2009 and 2010, but were disqualified in 2011 for fielding an ineligible player.
They remain one of the teams to beat on the continent and it will be fascinating to see how they go having had a year to develop their squad further.
“Mazembe is a team known to everyone; they won the Champions League twice in a row and represented Africa in the Club World Cup,” Al-Badri says.
“I watched tapes of their games against Sudan's Merriekh in the previous round and I can say they are a very good team. We respect them a lot.”