Al Ahly – CS Sfaxien Preview: The Tunisians plotting against Ahly’s sixth Caf Super Cup title

The Red Devils are hoping to retain the Cup against their 2009 rivals, the Juventus of the Arabs, who are confident of taking their revenge this time
AL Ahly

Rabia, Goma'a, Shadid, Sayed
 Ahmed, Saied, Fathy, Soliman
Moted, Hassan

Youssouffou, Maloul, Boulaabi, Ben
Salah, Ndong, Sassi, Hannachi
Challouf, Ben Youssef

Africa’s most successful side Al Ahly in Caf’s premier club competition, the Champions League, are also the most successful in the Super Cup with five titles and are hoping to claim a sixth as they entertain Tunisian team CS Sfaxien on Thursday, February 20 in Cairo.

The Egyptian Red Devils defeated Congolese new timers AC Leopards 2-1 to win the 2013 edition in Alexandria, but this time they will host their adversary team at the 75,000 seater Cairo International Stadium, where they will be at an advantage, being a traditional home ground, according to local pundits.

Besides, Ahly are keen on carrying off the Super Cup challenge to atone for their debacle at the 2013 Fifa Club World Cup held in December last year in Morocco, to the delight of local fans who will be attending their first big game this year on Thursday.

However, the opposing outfit CS Sfaxien appear to be a familiar foe which coach Mohamed Youssef and his charges, composed of many Egypt internationals, need to confront with a straight face.

The Tunisians beat four-time Caf Champions League winners TP Mazembe to claim the Confederation Cup title and qualify for this year’s Super Cup.

After finishing second in the Super Cup in 2008 and 2009, the 'Arab Juventus' believe a third attempt would prove successful.

“It’s our turn this time to take home the trophy and all my players believe that,” Sfaxien coach Hamadi Daw said in an interview on Tuesday.

“We can’t accept to qualify for the Super Cup and always go home without it. We are not scared of Al Ahly are their crowd and their big stadium. We believe in ourselves and what we can do.”

The one-off match will determine the best club side of the continent, which neither Ahly nor Sfaxien would hate not to bear.

  • The Caf Super Cup was founded in 1993 and won first by Ivorian club Africa Sports National against Morocco’s Wydad AC Casablanca.
  • Tunisian club ES Sahel and Al Ahly both hold the record of the highest attendance in the Caf Super Cup at 80,000 each, in 1998 for Sahel and 2002 for Ahly.
  • Thursday’s match was initially scheduled to be held at the Air Defence Stadium in Cairo for security reasons, before negotiations finally yielded for it to be moved to the Cairo International Stadium.
  • Al Ahly beat Sfaxien 2-1 when they met in the 2009 Super Cup at the Cairo Stadium.