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The Akure side says they are battle ready to start the group stage of the Champions League on a winning note

Sunshine Stars will start another journey in the Champions League when they take on Esperance in the first match of the group stage.

The match which will come up at the Dipo Dina International Stadium, Ijebu Ode will see the two teams fighting for the three points at stake.

Sunshine Stars qualified after edging out Djoliba of Mali and have prepared very well for the game that will determine whether they will get to the semi finals of the competition.

The team is fresh and no player is injured after the Nigeria Premier League decided to postpone their mid week game against Kaduna United.

Players and officials are however optimistic that they will beat Esperance to set the tone for a good outing in the competition.

Segun Oluwaniyi who is one of the goalkeepers in the team told Goal.com that they have done everything necessary to grab the three points.

"I am confident that we are going to win this match. We cannot afford to toy with this game because it will determine a lot of things as the competition.

"When I look at the faces of my colleagues after every training session, I tell myself that there is no way Esperance will escape defeat on Sunday.

"We have trained very well for the match. And we have assured our supporters that they should not panic because we are going to play and win.

"We cannot afford  to fail at this period after beating Recreativo Libolo and Djoliba," Oluwaniyi boasted.
Coach Gbenga Ogunbote revealed that it will be a tough game, but is sure his players will rise to the occasion to get the three points.

"Esperance is a good side, but I have a team that is earger to do the Nation proud and write their names in gold.

"So it will not be easy for Esperance because Sunshine Stars will carry the day," Ogunbote said.

Sunshine will rely on Ibrahim Ajani who is yet to score this season, Ukeyima Akombo, Dele Olurundare, Cameroonian midifielder  and Skipper Godfrey Oboabuna to surmount the pressure from the Tunisians.

Esperance will be without the suspended Wajdi Bouazzi and Youssef Belalili, who has yet to recover full match fitness.

Tunisia international striker Youssef Msakni has joined a Qatari clubside. 

Esperance coach Nabil Maaloul diclosed that it is important they do well in this first game. The Akure side will need to be at their best to be able to pick the three points.

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