2016-05-25_09.41.43

CAF Champions League: Enyimba’s Group B Opponents Laid Bare

 

Completesportsnigeria.com's ADEBOYE AMOSU beams the searchlight on Zamalek, Entente Setif and Mamelodi Sundowns as these clubs get set to face Nigerian champions Enyimba in the group phase of the CAF Champions League. Here are the clubs' pedigrees, top players and key facts…

          ZAMALEK
Zamalek represents Enyimba's biggest threat for a place in the semi-finals in Group B.  The White Knights  have won the competition five times. They last won the title in 2002.
The Cairo-based side have also been runners-up once and have reached the quarter-finals 15 times.
They are currently coached by  Mohammed Helmy who took over in an interim capacity after Scottish coach Alex McLeish left the club last month.
They secured the services of Zambian international Emmanuel Mayuka who once played for English Premier League side Southampton in January.
Zamalek also have some players who are part of the Egyptian national team. They are goalkeeper Ahmed El- Shenawy, defenders Hamada Tolba and Ali Gabr and midfielders Hazem Emam and Tarek Hamed.
Last season, Zamalek  won the domestic double for the first time since 1988, but  have struggled to make an impact this term.

KEY STARS
MOSTAFA FATHI
A skilful winger, the 21-year old is noted for his dribbling skills and ability to cut inside onto his left foot before curling towards goal.
He has deservedly earned himself the status of a super- sub, following some crucial second-half goals which proved vital for his side in recent games.

MAHMOUD KAHRABA
Zamalek's top scorer this season. Kahraba is another dangerman Enyimba defenders must be wary of.
A versatile forward, Kahraba could be used as a lone striker to make the most of his ability of making dangerous runs in behind, as well as offering another option on the wing, being equally adept at dribbling and drifting infield.

He could also play centrally behind the centre forward, with his ability to receive the ball behind the opposition's midfield and surge directly towards their defence.

AYMAN HEFNI
The flamboyant playmaker in the Zamalek squad. He is the side key man when at his best.
His excellent close control, quick feet and silky through passes will be vital for the Egyptian outfit in the group stage.

                  

 

       

 

             ENTENTE SPORTIVE SETIF
ES Setif  is one of the most successful clubs in Algeria having won the Algerian League title seven times and the Algerian Cup a record eight times.
Setif have won the CAF Champions League title twice, in 1988 and 2014.
They are currently fourth in the Algerian Ligue 1 table with one game remaining and have no chance of catching up with leaders USM Alger.
Two days ago, they appointed experienced coach Abdelkadir Amrani as their new head coach.

                  KEY STARS
SOFIANE KHEDAIRA
The side's reliable goalkeeper who played a key role in their success in the competition in 2014.He once had a stint with French club Le Mans and is currently one of the most experienced players in the side.

EUDES DAGOULOU
The Central African international  striker has been with the club since 2011 and has  become a key part of the side. Also a key member of the Setif side that won the title in 2014.

AKRAM DJAHNIT
The 25-year old winger is one of the key components of the Setif side. He once had a stint with Kuwaiti side Al-Arabi but returned to Setif after few months at the club.

             

                           MAMELODI SUNDOWNS
Mamelodi Sundowns on paper are the weakest team in the group. The Brazilians took the place of AS Vita Club who were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in the previous round.
They recently won the 2015/ 2016 South African League title with relative ease.
The ABSA Premiership champions reached the final of the 2001 CAF Champions League, their best performance in the competition, where they were defeated 4-1 on aggregate by Egyptian club Al Ahly.

           KEY STARS

KEAGAN DOLLY
The 23-year-old winger enjoyed an outstanding first season with Sundowns  and is in the running for the ABSA Premiership Footballer of the season, players player and Best Midfielder of the year awards.
He was an ever present feature in the Sundowns side throughout the season and missed only one game.
The former Ajax Cape Town player scored nine goals and bagged seven assists in his maiden season at the club.

KHAMA BILLIAT
Just like Dolly, Billiat played a crucial role for Sundowns last season and is one of the key members of the side.
He is also nominated for ABSA Premiership Footballer of the Season Award.

 

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