CAF Champions League Peview: Al Ahly banks on history, Wydad count on home soil
Al Ahly and Etoile Sahel will be looking to make home advantage count as they respectively battle for the 2017 CAF Champions League final spots

This weekend will see the 2017 CAF Champions League finalists decided with fierce matches in Morocco on Saturday and Egypt on Sunday.

Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca are well positioned in their respective ties. 

Etoile hold a 2-1 lead over Al Ahly while Wydad will take a lot of comfort in not conceding an away goal after they held USM Alger to a goalless stalemate in Algiers.

On Saturday, former champions Wydad will look to make the most of the home advantage when they host Alger at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.

Alger’s Belgian coach Paul Put is optimistic that they can overturn the tie as long as they wait for their chances and also avoid conceding a goal.

"The return leg could well go in our favour. Away from home, you sometimes get more space, which leads to counter-attacks. In football, anything is possible. We mustn’t concede a goal, and we’ll need to wait patiently for our chances,” he told

"Morocco is known for its intense supporters, but we’re accustomed to that type of atmosphere,” he added.

“In our derby against MC Alger, the stadium was packed. When we played Zamalek, the atmosphere was electric. And we shouldn’t forget the footballing rivalry that exists between Algeria and Morocco. We know it’s going to be a tricky match to negotiate."

To their advantage, Wydad have an impressive home record having won all five home Champions League matches without conceding a goal and their victims included holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.

Put will be hoping that striker, Oussama Darfalou who’s netted five times already in the competition can help them squeeze the result against all odds.

Al-Ahly Cairo

In Egypt on Sunday, eight time winners, Al Ahly, will be banking on history when they try to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Etoile at the Borg El Arab Stadium.

Ahly last featured in the Champions League final in 2013 when they defeated South Africa’s Orlando Pirates and face an uphill task against former winners Etoile.

Thier coach Hossam El Badry believes Saleh Gomaa's strike from the first leg could be crucial with away goals counting double in the event of an aggregate tie.

Article continues below

"The goal scored by Saleh in Tunisia will make our mission a little easier," El Badry told reporters.

“We wasted several other chances during the first leg, but the home match will be different.”

Ahly will be without influential midfdifiedler, Egypt international Ahmed Fathy who is suspended for the tie but a boost for them will be that authorities have agreed that 40,000 spectators can attend the match in a country where most matches are staged behind closed doors for security reasons.


Wydad Casablanca
USM Alger USM Alger
Comments ()