The North African heavyweights collide in the Caf Champions League final for the second time in their history after Al-Ahly beat their Tunisian rivals 3-2 on aggregate in the 2012 final.
Friday’s much anticipated encounter will see Al Ahly out for revenge after losing last season’s final to Wydad Casablanca.
It will be the Egyptian giants’ 12th Caf Champions League final as they hunt for their ninth title.
Esperance on the other hand have been African champions twice before; their latest triumph being in 2011 and have previously finished as runners-up on four occasions.
|Game||Al Ahly v Esperance|
|Date||Friday, November 2|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
The game will be shown live on SuperSport 4. You can also catch live updates on Goal.com.
|Live Match Centre||TV Channel|
Squads & Team News
After injuring his groin in last Sunday’s Arab Club Champions Cup against Emirati side Al-Wasl, Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy has been declared fit for Friday’s match.
The Egypt World Cup goalkeeper had been a big worry for coach Patrice Carteron but he is now tipped to start between the stickes at the Borg El-Arab Stadium.
Another boost for Al Ahly is the return of veteran right-back Ahmed Fathi, who was also an injury.
Chief Moroccan striker Walid Azarou, who has scored six goals in the tournament thus far, has also been declared fit for the match together with midfielder Islam Mohareb, who was injured in the second leg of the semifinals against ES Setif.
Defender Mohamed Naguib has failed to recover on time for the match.
Long-term injury absentee Junior Ajayi is out of the game together with Tunisian defender Ali Maaloul.
Probable Al-Ahly XI: El-Shennawy, Fathy, Ayman Ashraf, Saad Samir, Coulibaly, Ashour, Al-Sulaya, Mohareb, Soliman, Marwan Mohsen, Azarou.
Esperance are enjoying a clean bill of health with all the players available for selection.
With seven goals this season, striker Anice Badri is arguably the most relied upon by the Tunisian giants and he is definitely a major concern for Al Ahly.
Esperance stormed into the final following a dramatic win over resilient Angolan giants Primiero Agosto.
Should they replicate the spirit they showed in the semifinal win over Agosto could see the Tunisians upstage Al Ahly.
Algerian striker Mohamed Belaili has also been in top form for Esperance and could partner Badri upfront.
Esperance will welcome back veteran defender Khalil Chemmam, who was suspended for the second leg of the semifinals against Agosto.
Probable Esperance XI: Jridi, Derbali, Chemmam, Dhaouadi, Kom, Ben Mohamed, F Coulibaly, Chalali, Belaili, Badri, Khenissi.
The two North African giants have previously met 16 times in the Caf Champions League, with Al Ahly dominating the fixture.
The Egyptians have won five of their previous confrontations with Esperance, losing just thrice, while eight clashes have ended in stalemates.
Interestingly this season, the two sides emerged from the same group which Al Ahly topped, while Esperance finished in second place.
The first leg in Alexandria, which was the group opening match, ended goalless in May.
Al Ahly then showed some grit to beat Esperance 1-0 away in the return leg two months ago with Azarou grabbing the all-important goal.
This year’s final would be a repeat of the 2012 final when the two giants drew 1-1 in Alexandria, before Al Ahly won 2-1 in the second leg in Rades to record a 3-2 aggregate victory.
Veteran midfielder Walid Soliman scored one of Al Ahly’s goals in Rades.