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Preview: Wydad Casablanca host Al Ahly in must-win match for Egyptians
Date: Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 at 8:30 PM (GMT +2)
Competition: CAF Champions League, Group A
Stadium: Prince Moulay Abdellah, Rabat, Morocco
The Red Devils are in absolute dire need of a win against the Moroccans away from home in order to revive any chance of them qualifying to the next round of the competition.
Al Ahly, who’ve won the competition a record eight times, lost their first two matches of the group stage against ZESCO United and ASEC Mimosas and have most recently drawn against Wydad Casablanca in the reverse fixture at home last week.
Sitting on a miserly one point puts them in a situation where they have to win the remainder of their three matches beginning on Wednesday against Wydad Casabalanca in order to secure 10 points. This is the minimum points tally to qualify automatically. If they achieve anything less, their destiny will no longer be in their hands and will rather depend on other results in the group.
On the other hand, Wydad Casablanca find themselves in a very good position after securing a win against both ZESCO and ASEC and most recently drawing against Al Ahly. They will be looking ahead to build on these results and solidify their position at the top of the group by securing a win at home against Al Ahly.
Knowing that the Egyptians need a win will certainly help the Moroccans as far as their game plan goes. Wydad will almost certainly play conservatively and attempt not to concede the first goal for as long as possible knowing that Al Ahly will need to open up, take risks and commit men forward in order to secure a result as the game progresses.
Martin Jol is also under immense pressure to get the best out of his team. The balance in the squad has been questioned lately with the recent departure of Malick Evouna to Chinese side Tianjin Teda and Ramadan Sobhi to Stoke City. Also, KingFut’s Player of the Season, Abdallah El-Said is still unavailable after picking up a collarbone injury last month.
Although, the club recently signed striker Marwan Mohsen and included him in the squad, it remains to be seen whether the target-man will be used.
Evouna, Sobhi, and Abdallah El-Said served as a focal point offensively for much of the domestic season so the Egyptians will be required to find answers elsewhere in the squad.
Predicted Al Ahly XI:
Ahmed Adel Abel-Moneim; Ahmed Fathi, Ahmed Hegazy, Rami Rabia, Sabri Rahil; Hossam Ashour, Hossam Ghaly, Amr El-Sulaya; Momen Zakaria, Walid Soliman, Marwan Mohsen.