Al-Ahly coach Patrice Carteron warns his players about getting carried away against Esperance

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The Frenchman is in his second Caf Champions League final after previously guiding TP Mazembe to the 2015 title

Al-Ahly coach Patrice Carteron has cautioned his players not to read much into history as they gear up to clash with Esperance in Friday’s Caf Champions League final, first leg at home.

The two continental giants have previously met 18 times, with Al-Ahly enjoying a better head-to-head record of beating their Tunisian rivals seven times, losing just thrice and sharing spoils on eight occasions.

“I have asked the players not to look at the history of the confrontations of the two teams, and told them to treat the game as their first match against them,” Carteron was quoted by Kingfut.

“They have to provide their best to win the title. Reaching the final was achieved thanks to many factors, but Al Ahly target the titles, not the finals. I respect Esperance as an opponent who have reached the final.”

The two sides last met in the Caf Champions League final in 2012 with Al-Ahly beating Esperance 3-2 on aggregate.

Friday’s match at the Borg El-Arab in Alexandria will see a strong crowd of 60, 000 predominantly rooting behind Al-Ahly, who lost last year’s final to Wydad Casablanca.

“We are dealing with the Esperance encounter as a 180-minute game. I trust the players and their desire to make the maximum effort on the pitch.”

“Playing at Borg El-Arab does not concern me much. I do not see the venues of the two matches. All I am thinking about is that Al Ahly will play 180 minutes in the African Champions League final.

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“The presence of the fans in the stands in the first-leg will motivate the players to achieve the best possible result.

“I have always considered Al Ahly fans to be a partner in the victories that have been achieved. They deserve the best and I promise that we will put on a performance worthy of the name and history of the club.”

Carteron is in search of his second Champions League title while Al-Ahly will be gunning for a ninth continental crown.

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