Al-Hilal Omdurman are keen to revitalise themselves at home against Al-Masry on Wednesday following a false start to their Group B campaign
Two-time Caf Champions League finalists Al-Hilal want to end their elusive search for silverware on the continent but this time around in Africa’s second-tier club competition in which they have already suffered a setback.
The Sudanese giants began on the backfoot, falling 1-0 away in their opening match at RSB Berkane in Morocco.
A daunting evening is expected at the Al-Hilal Stadium for both sides but especially for the hosts against the Egyptians who seized early control of the group following a 2-0 home win over Mozambican outfit UD Songo on Matchday One.
The home side’s hopes of upsetting Al-Masry could however be drawn from their 100 percent unbeaten home-record of three games in Africa this season which began in the Champions League before demotion to the Confederation Cup.
To rescue their campaign, perennial Caf inter-club contenders Al-Hilal will have to make full use of their intimidating home ground atmosphere which usually provides a nightmare for visitors.
Also crucial for them would be correcting their biggest Achilles Heel laid bare in the defeat in Morocco where they wasted a glut of chances with midfielder Mohamed Bashir the chief-culprit.
Another critical aspect for Al-Hilal would be thwarting Al-Masry’s deadly combination of Mohamed “Grendo” Abdel-Latif and Ahmed Gomaa which buried Songo.
Gomaa struck a brace against the Mozambicans with Grendo assisting in both goals and their understanding on the pitch has often proved a handful to opponents even in the Egyptian Premier League.
At the Estadio do Chiveve in Beira, Mozambique, Berkane are out to build onto their positive start in the group by tackling hosts Songo.
But a red flag signaling Beira as a minefield was in March raised by Songo when they humbled African giants TP Mazembe 3-0 on their way to this stage of the competition.
That is enough to make Berkane approach the match with caution although they could be defiant and high in confidence in star striker Ayoub El-Kaabi.
Arguably the best Africa-based player at the moment, El-Kaabi was the provider for Togo international Fo-Doh Kodjo Laba’s goal in their home victory over Al-Hilal.
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Ayoub El-Kaabi has been linked with Spanish giants Atletico Madrid and that sums up his pedigree.
The clash in Beira is also a match from which Songo are desperate to pick themselves up and save their debut season in the Confederation Cup group phase.
Songo goalkeeper Leonel Pendula appeared vulnerable in their last match in Egypt against Al-Masry and that perhaps calls for him to be more vigilant on Wednesday.