Zamalek know that they need to get on the winning trail as they prepare to welcome DR Congo side TP Mazembe to Cairo on Sunday night. The White Knights remain pointless after three rounds and a defeat could leave them with no mathematical chance of reaching the semifinals.
As it stands, they need to make up a four-point deficit on second-placed Mazembe in the pool, and even a draw would leave them with possibly too much work to do. This is especially so if Ghanaian side Berekum Chelsea (four points) manage to defeat pool leaders Al Ahly in the group’s earlier game.
Mazembe won the corresponding fixture in Lubumbashi 10 days ago 2-0 thanks to goals from Isaac Kasongo and Mbwana Samata, both in the second half. Up to that point Zamalek had held their own and that will give them some heart going into the home fixture.
Zamalek also have a new coach in charge in the form of the Brazilian Jorvan Vieira, who replaced former national team mentor Hassan Shehata. He says he has no problem being thrown into the deep end and is looking forward to Sunday’s clash.
I’m fully responsible for Mazembe’s match this Sunday. I’ll work with my assistants to find out the appropriate plan for the team’s good,” he told Cafonline.
“Of course this is going to be an advantage to play in Cairo, but that doesn’t mean victory is guaranteed. The mission is very tough especially with big teams like Mazembe, Berekum Chelsea and Al Ahly. The players will have to do their best to achieve victory and revive our semifinal qualification dreams.”
Zamalek will be missing midfielders Ahmed Hassan, who is suspended, and Nour Al-Sayed, who is out with injury.