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Dubai - Yasmine El Tohamy - Zamalek manager Patrice Carteron talked about his side’s preparations for their game against TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League, saying that all his players are ready.
Zamalek currently hold the second place in Group A having collected seven points from their prior four matches. They sit three points behind leaders TP Mazembe, whom they’ll host on Friday, January 24th.
A win will secure the Whites a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals and could help them finish on top go their group.
Meanwhile, Mazembe will try to continue their unbeaten run in the tournament this season and capitalize on their 3-0 win over Zamalek in the first leg.
During the post-match press conference, Patrice Carteron said that there is no need to compare the first game with the one taking place tomorrow.
“The Mazembe game is going to be tough, especially after having lost the first game 3-0. We won two games at home, drew once away and now we have to work hard to qualify for the next round,” said Carteron.
“You can’t compare tomorrow’s game with the first one. I was appointed following the defeat, the team was going through a rough period. Since then we were able to change things and come back stronger,” he added.
He then commented on the CAF Super Cup and whether or not they will be traveling to Qatar to face Esperance Sportive de Tunis.
“This has nothing to do with tomorrow, we’re only focused on tomorrow’s game and we also have the Al Ahly game in the Egyptian Super Cup before it [CAF Super Cup],” he added.
Zamalek are set to face Esperance on February 14th in Doha as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that the Super Cup will be played in Qatar for the next three years.
This decision could start a conflict as Zamalek president Mortada Mansour publicly expressed his disapproval with playing any game in Qatar.
The Frenchman then talked about his time as Mazembe manager and his squad ahead of the game.
“My time with Mazembe was good, I’m the last manager to win the CAF Champions League with them. I can’t wait to see some of the players.
“I also have a good relationship with Mazembe’s chairman and it will be a chance to catch up.
“Our players are ready, we did our best to help them recover and everyone is ready now.”
“In the squad only Mostafa Mohamed is listed as a striker but we have plenty of offensive players such as Shikabala and Achraf Bencharki,” he continued.
Carteron then talked about the injuries and changes his team endured in past months and how he copes with them.
“One of our players left but we have Hazem Emam. And in case he’s not available, Mohamed Abdelghani can play in this position. We also have Ahmed Eid from the academy.”
“Abdallah Gomaa is injured, he just started recovery and he’ll be ready soon but thankfully we have a lot of good players.
“I have 18 players in the training camp and they’re all excited and ready, the ones that are the most fit will be in the starting line-up tomorrow,” he concluded.
The highly awaited game will take place in the Cairo International Stadium at 9:00pm Cairo Time.
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