Absa Premiership

Pitso backs Al Ahly to win CAF Champions League

2018-11-02 12:00
Pitso Mosimane
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes Egyptian giants Al Ahly are favourites to win the CAF Champions League for a record-extending ninth time. 

The Club of the Century are set to face Tunisia's Esperance in the first leg of the final on Friday night at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria in Egypt, before the second leg takes place at the Stade Olympique de Rades in Rades on November 9. 

The two sides had earlier met in the group stages of Africa's most prestigious club competition where they recorded a 0-0 draw in Egypt, while Al Ahly won 1-0 in Tunisia. 

Nonetheless, Mosimane, who guided Sundowns to become African champions in 2016 with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Zamalek, takes the view it is the Egyptians who are favourites as they boast a superb pedigree in the competition. 

The Brazilians bowed out of this season's edition of the tournament after finishing third in Group C during the earlier stages. 

He said: "On paper Al Ahly are favourites because of their history. If you don't know about Al Ahly, then you must just look at their badge and you'll see how many stars are there for winning the Champions League and the stars for winning the local league. 

"They are an old team and you can't compare them to a small team like Sundowns in terms of generations. It's going to be a physical game and there's a lot of things in common. The style of play, culture, region. You should expect a few yellow cards and a red card to be honest. 

"Al Ahly have not won it in a long time. I think it's their time now. They really want it." 

The 54-year-old concluded that it was the outfit from Cairo who held a slight psychological advantage having beaten Mkachkha in the group stages, saying: "There's negatives and positives. The negative is that you know each other so much that to plan becomes difficult. 

"Normally those who had the upper hand in the group will have the confidence to say 'we've beaten these guys in the group'. 

"The positive is that [when you play away from home] you know where to stay, you know the pitch, you know where you train. So those logistics are easy because you've been there before."

 

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