Downs, Zamalek go for glory

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  • Post published:October 14, 2016

Mamelodi Sundowns welcome Zamalek to the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday as the sides meet in the first leg of the Caf Champions League final.

Sundowns will enter the tie with a psychological edge having already beaten their Egyptian opponents twice in the competition this season. The Brazilians also enter the tie off the back of greater momentum in the tournament that their opponents. Downs had to battle back against Zesco United to progress into the final by a 3-2 scoreline, while Zamalek almost squandered a healthy first leg advantage as they scraped into the decider 6-5 on aggregate.

Zamalek are without the likes of left wing Mohamed Ibrahim for the tie as the star struggles to recover from a calf fracture, while the club have been bereft of the services of another talented wing Mahmoud Kahraba since the qualification rounds after the star agreed a loan move away from the club.

Sundowns, for their part, have no injury problems to contend with as the side looks primed and ready to deliver in the showpiece final. The Chloorkop outfit will have to shake off their shock defeat at the hands of Bidvest Wits in the MTN8 final a fortnight ago but will enter the tie fully rested and prepared having had their domestic fixtures postponed to accommodate their Caf Champions League ambitions.

Zamalek will he hoping their Egypt stars can produce their best form as they look to goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy and defenders Ahmed Dewidar, Islam Gamal and Ali Gabr to produce defensive solidity. Up front, the side will be hoping dangerous forward Basem Morsy can continue his fine form, with the star having netted three times across the semi-finals.

Sundowns, meanwhile, will be counting on the creative input of playmaker Khama Billiat upfront, while the side will welcome contributions from dangerous wing Keagan Dolly and midfield stalwart Hlompho Kekana, who could prove key to maintaining the side’s solidity in the middle of the park.

The first leg clash will be held at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The action gets underway at 15:00.