By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
AL AHLY coach Hossam El Badry is not pressing the panic button despite his team’s failure to go past the CAF Champions’ League group stage last season ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Zambian League champions Zanaco.
The two sides will clash in their CAF Champions League opening group stage match at Borg El Arab stadium in Egypt’s second largest city, Alexandria.
Hossam said the team was well prepared for the Zambian side and will not leave loopholes.
He also announced the team’s 22-man squad that will face Zanaco in an anticipated tight encounter on Saturday.
“We are at home and will not give away the victory. They are league champions at home so we will not underestimate them. It will definitely be a difficult game,” he said.
Ahly has been rocked with injuries which has seen Hossam exclude Ahmed Hammoudi and Ahmed Hegazi from the team facing Zanaco.
“It is unfortunate that Hammoudi and Hegazi will not be part of the squad due to injuries. Emad Meteb has also been excluded for technical reasons while defender Saad Samir will not join the team due to military service issues. But I have a good side that will deliver,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zanaco arrived in Alexandria yesterday and is expected to train at El Arab stadium this morning.
Coach Mumamba Numba said the team was solid and focused on the task ahead.
“The team is in high spirit and not under-pressure. This is not our first away match, so the boys know what is expected of them,” he said.
CAF has named Gambian referee Bakary Gassama to officiate the game.
Al Ahly squad:
Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed El-Shennawy, Ahmed Adel.
Defenders: Bassem Ali, Mohamed Hany, Mohamed Naguib, Rami Rabia, Aly Maaloul, Sabry Raheel, Ahmed Fathi.
Midfielders: Hossam Ghaly, Saleh Gomaa, Hossam Ashour, Abdallah El-Said, Waleed Soliman, Mido Gaber, Karim Nedved, Momen Zakaria, Amr El-Sulaya.
Forwards: Amr Gamal, Souleymane Coulibaly, Junior Ajayi.