Esperance’s way to deprive Al-Ahly of its favorite weapon

Cairo International Stadium is preparing to host the final match of the most glorious African competitions between Al-Ahly of Egypt and…Esperance Sports Tunisia in the second leg of the African Champions League final.

The first leg ended without goals at Hammadi Al-Aqrabi Stadium in Tunisia, during which Esperance failed to shoot any ball against goalkeeper Mustafa Schubert, and only created two chances, which proved that Al-Ahly’s defense line is difficult to penetrate.

The same applies to Esperance, which kept a clean sheet for the tenth match, which is the same number as Al-Ahly, which confirms that the match will be played according to simple details, and it is not expected to witness many chances.

Both Al Ahly coach Marcel Kohler and Esperance coach Miguel Cardoso are known for their tactical acumen, and will be crucial to their teams’ success. This is the twenty-third meeting between the two clubs in the competition. The Red Giants excel in direct confrontations with 10 victories, compared to 8 for Esperance.

Al-Ahly is armed with crosses, long shots and head kicks

The Cairo team has a clear identity with Marcel Kohler. When it faces teams that play in a defensive formation, “as Esperance is expected to do in Cairo Stadium,” it resorts to a very important weapon, which is the long-shot weapon.

Al-Ahly has many distinguished long-shot players, led by Imam Ashour, Hussein Al-Shahat, Mohamed Magdy Afsha, Wissam Abu Ali, and Percy Tau.

Emam Ashour, who is considered one of the best players in Egypt at scoring from long distances, had threatened Esperance’s goal with more than one long shot, and the same was true for Hussein El Shahat.

On the other hand, Esperance – as the pictures above show – threatened Al-Ahly’s goal with long-range shots, while the Red Giants players were given time and space to shoot, with Esperance’s midfield pressure weakening on them, especially the Togolese player Roger Aholo.

The above makes Esperance’s way to deprive Al-Ahly of its favorite weapon is to be keen to apply strong pressure and not give Hussein Al-Shahat or Emam Ashour any opportunity to shoot from long range, knowing that Al-Ahly has the most positive attempts at long-range shots in the Egyptian League and in the African Champions League.

The long shot is Al-Ahly’s weapon to confront Esperance’s defensive bloc

Al-Ahly’s clear strength is in scoring with headers, as it scored 4 goals with headers in the African Champions League this season, which is the largest number among the tournament’s teams.

Al-Ahly is the team that attempts the most goals through head kicks in the African Champions League competition (11 attempts), followed by Esperance (9 attempts), including Rodrigo Rodriguez’s chance in the first leg.

Rodriguez’s opportunity came after a typical cross from Hossam Taqa, which confirmed the fact that Esperance is the team in the CAF Champions League that resorted to crosses the most (148 times).

Two of Al-Ahly’s goals came from corner kicks, and this is an important weapon for Al-Ahly with the presence of a strong player in scoring from corner kicks, namely defender Mohamed Abdel Moneim, but Al-Ahly will be affected by the absence of Ali Maaloul, who executes those balls with complete proficiency.

It must be emphasized that Al-Ahly is characterized by the idea of ​​patience with the result, as it scored 11 goals out of 12 goals in the second half of the confrontation.

With Esperance resorting to attacking through the wings, Yann Sass and Houssam Eddine Ghesha, Al-Ahly will find difficulty in the absence of Ali Maaloul due to injury, as this is the front on which the Brazilian Sass, Esperance’s most dangerous player, is active, along with Hossam Taqa, who executed the cross that created Rodrigo’s dangerous opportunity.

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