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CAF Champions League

Al Ahly to miss key players against Jimma tie at home

1:12 PM GMT 13/12/2018
Esperance v Al-Ahly
After finishing the past two Caf Champions League seasons as runners-up, Al Ahly begin the new campaign haunted by injury and suspension

Al Ahly will be missing several key players when they host Ethiopian champions Jimma Kenema in Friday's Caf Champions League first round, first leg tie.

Injuries have dealt a huge blow on the Egyptians, who are facing a defensive crisis that is highly-likely to see midfielder Karim Nedved being slotted into the right-back position.

Morocco star striker Walid Azarou is out serving a Caf suspension, while defender Ahmed Fathi, goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy, Tunisian defender Ali Maaloul and Salah Mohsen are all out injured.

While Al Ahly caretaker coach Mohamed Youseff is facing this headache of losing his key players, he has also acknowledged that they face a big task against Jimma, who are little known in African football. 

"The Jimma match is a difficult one," Youssef said.

"We want to achieve a positive result to make our mission easier in the return match. I asked my players to be fully concentrated on the continental match and to forget about the domestic competition.

"I have full confidence in the players to achieve a positive result. We deal with every match separately. We studied the Ethiopian team well to get well-prepared for the match."

If the Ethiopian side wins in Egypt, it would be one of the greatest stories in African football for the archives.