CAF Super Cup in the middle of the season. We are not complaining. Esperance Tunis will be out to arrest their poor Super Cup record. On the other hand, Zamalek will look to close in on Al Ahly as the most successful team in this competition. The match is on 14th February, 2020, from 1800 CAT, in Doha.

Esperance Tunis Probable XI: Ben Cherifia – Mbarki, Yacoubi, Chammam, Chetti – Coulibaly, Bonsu, Benguit – Bensaha, Ouattara, El Houni (4-3-3)

Zamalek Probable XI: Abougabal – Emam, Alaa, El Wensh, Abdulshafi – Hamed, Sassi – Ounajem, Shikabala, Obama – Bencharki (4-2-3-1)

What is at stake?

The two teams will meet in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals. This match will provide a teaser to what us fans can expect. Coaches, Chaabani and Carteron will also appreciate the opportunity to have a closer look at their CAFCL opponents. It has been a long time since these two teams last met.

There is also the small matter of a trophy named ‘CAF Super Cup’ on offer for Esperance and Zamalek. Both teams have taken part in this competition 4 times. Of these, Zamalek has emerged winner 3 times but Esperance Tunis has been loser 3 times. Not only does history favour the White Knights, Zamalek also have the upper hand when it comes to the H2H record between the two teams.

What will the match be like?

Raja Casablanca pleased us with flair football for 2019 CAF Super Cup. Will we have the same again? Unfortunately, these teams have shown a preference for a measured approach in the big matches. This is Esperance Tunis main strength. As for Zamalek, Patrice Carteron has continued to steer them to this way of doing things.

The Tunis team will not be giving Abderrahamane Meziane a start. He has not been included in the match squad. The Algerian winger would have been itching to go at Zamalek’s weak fullback position.

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His compatriot, defender, Bedrane was reported out of this tie because of injury but is in the official team list given to CAF. We do not expect a lot of surprises from the Taraji starting XI.

Zamalek could surprise us by giving Shikabala a start in this match. This will leave Mostafa Mohamed and Bencharki competing to get the nod for the striker role. Why? If Shika starts, then he will be flanked by Ounajem and Obama. The duo is as undroppable as anyone can be in this Zamalek team.

Prediction

Esperance Tunis 1-1 Zamalek

Even though there is a trophy to play for, it will be a big shock to see any of the sides come out all-guns-blazing. The emphasis has shifted to squad management at this time of the season, especially for Zamalek. Both teams will be pleased to come out of Doha as champion but this will not be season-defining.

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