Esperance wary of Gor Mahia threat in Caf Champions League

Goal Kenya.
The Tunisian giants landed in Kenya on Monday ahead of the first leg match scheduled for Machakos Stadium on Wednesday

Esperance of Tunisia have sounded a warning that they anticipate a tough challenge from Gor Mahia when they clash in Caf Champions League.

The Tunisian giants landed in Kenya on Monday ahead of the first leg match scheduled for Machakos Stadium on Wednesday. According to reports from Tunisia, the team is worried of the current Gor Mahia squad under the tutelage of coach Dylan Kerr.

They have now tabled four reasons why the believe Gor Mahia poses a major threat to their Caf ambitions and that they should take the game seriously. Here are three good reasons to take seriously the Kenyan formation of Gor Mahia.

Gor Mahia players in action against Esperance.

Spirit of revenge: Gor Mahia and the supporters still have not digested the humiliation inflicted on them by Esperance in 2014. They were beaten on their own turf 3-2 and then crushed 5-0 in Tunis in the sixteenth-final of the Caf Champions League. Today, we only talk about revenge because on the one hand the level of Gor Mahia version 2018 is very much higher than that of four years ago and on the other hand the fact of having won the Africa of the Cup Winners against Esperance - certainly thirty years ago (1987) - gives them the impression that Esperance is not an unbeatable team.

Current form: Under the leadership of English coach Dylan Kerr, Gor Mahia have played 27 games, won 20, made 6 draws and lost only one. Kenyan fans and observers believe that, unlike in 2014, Gor Mahia currently has a very strong team ready to play the leading roles in the 2018 Champions League. As current leader of the Kenyan Premier League, Gor Mahia is unquestionably at the top of the list.

Article continues below

Gor Mahia players with Kevin Omondi.

Esperance have poor form: Esperance is suffering in recent weeks from defensive problems with the injuries of Machani and Talbi and the suspension of Dhaouadi in the league. To overcome these shortcomings, the coach Ben Yahia had to convert Chammam and Coulibaly into axial defenders or appeal to the young Chaona (not qualified in the Champions League). But beware; against a team like Gor Mahia, defensive mistakes can be expensive, especially in Nairobi!

Finally, among the current players, five were already present against Gor Mahia in 2014. These are Ben Chérifia, Dhaouadi, Chammam, Derbali and Jouini. The latter was the author of four goals against Gor Mahia. One goal in the first leg in Nairobi and three more in the second leg in Radès.