Espérance head to Sousse for a win
Espérance striker Yannick Ndjeng against Etoile defender Chamseddine Dhaouadi
Lying on nine points after week three of the CAF Champions League, the Gold and Blood have almost ensured qualification for the semi-finals of the competition.
They will be after a victory on the Etoile pitch, although they know that visiting the rivals they outclassed two weeks ago is not going to be easy.
“We play in Sousse in a different context against a team who have their backs to the wall and must secure a win. It will be a complicated match given the pressure that will be on us, but we will head to Sousse aiming for a victory as we have done for other matches,” affirmed Espérance coach, Nabil Maâloul in a press conference.
Despite having a full squad at his disposal, the coach has still made a point of deploring the national team call-ups of Youssef Msakni, Khalil Chemmam and Harrison Afful just a few days before such an important clash.
“Our preparation was interrupted by the absence of three members of our starting line-up who were called-up to the national team. Last season, I did a favour for the national team, who have not returned the favour. Last year, I did them a favour when I accepted to release all my players for an international friendly in Oman. I would really have appreciated it if, this time, the players were left to the disposal of their teams in a competition as important as the Champion’s League,” objected Maâloul.
But morale remains strong within the ranks of the Blood and Gold, who are aware of the stakes of this Tunisian derby.
“They will enjoy home advantage on their pitch and in front of their public, but we are used to playing in bigger stadiums that are always packed to the limit. We will do all we need to win in order to secure our ticket for the semi-finals and to celebrate Aïd peacefully,” said Espérance goalkeeper, Moez Ben Chérifia.