15:00 ET Canada USA | 22:00 Cairo local time (GMT+2)
Venue: Cairo International Stadium
Referee: Dahane Beida (Mauritania)
Cairo giants Al Ahly, seems to have a straightforward task ahead as they welcome Esperance de Tunis to Cairo stadium for the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals on Friday.
Al Ahly are strongly expected to secure their place in the final, following their convincing 3-0 victory in the first leg in Tunis a week ago.
Although they hold a comfortable advantage, Ahly coach Marcel Koller is approaching the game with seriousness to prevent any potential surprises that can arise in football.
Ahly will be without their international goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi for this encounter, as he sustained a calf injury during the first leg in Tunisia.
El-Shennawi’s recovery is expected to take a few weeks, but he should be available for the final if Ahly manages to overcome their Tunisian opponent.
On the other hand, Esperance will face an uphill battle in this game, as they struggled to pose any significant threats to the Cairo giants in the first leg.
Injuries have plagued Esperance since before the first leg, resulting in the absence of key players such as Libyan winger Hamdou Elhouni, international midfielder Ghailene Chaalali, Algerian forward Riad Benayad, and international goalkeeper Moez ben Cherifia. These players missed the first leg and are also set to miss the second leg.
The absence of these key players had a noticeable impact on the team, particularly due to the underwhelming performance of their substitutes who were unable to adequately replace them.
Following the heavy defeat in the first leg, coach Nabil Maaloul resigned from his position, and Anis Boussaidi was appointed as the new coach earlier this week. Boussaidi enters the game in Cairo with dreams of a miraculous turnaround, firmly believing that nothing is impossible in football.