The CAF Champions League battle of the reds will take place in Casablanca on 29th Feb, 2020 from 2100 CAT. Both Wydad Casablanca and Etoile Sahel recently appointed new coaches and will therefore eye improved performances in this competition.
Wydad Casablanca Probable XI: Tagnaouti – Noussir, Asrir, Comara, Attiat – Jabrane, Nakach – Aouk, El Karti, El Bahja – Kazadi (4-2-3-1)
Etoile Sahel Probable XI: Bediri – Kechrida, Sellami, Ben Aziza, Ouannes – Baayou, Ben Amor – Gonzalez, Methnani, Ben Larbi – Coulibaly (4-2-3-1)
What is at stake?
Wydad Casablanca appointed Juan Garrido as coach in an effort to arrest what is a full-blown crisis at the club. The Moroccan team has only won 1 of its last 5 matches. There is a lot to be asked about the wisdom of picking Garrido as coach. Of course, all CAFCL fans know that he was recently dismissed as Etoile coach. Perhaps, Wydad see him as a man who knows everything about the opposition. This would not work for the first leg anyway since his appointment come only days to the match.
Etoile Sahel are enjoying a much better time with regards to coaching.
The team appointed Kais Zouaghi and he as hit the ground running. The team scored 5 in a league match over the weekend. And Zouaghi has been brave enough to not only change the formation from 3 defenders at the back but also field different players from that talented Etoile Sahel squad.
What will the match be like?
The first thing that jumps out is that Karim Aribi is in real danger of losing his starting position as striker. New signing, Souleymane Coulibaly took advantage of his absence in the weekend to score a brace and front himself for considering in this CAF Champions League match. Firas Ben Larbi also put in a good performance, which could see him graduate to full-on starter.
With that said, Etoile Sahel still do not have a true leftback and Zouaghi may resort to featuring Ben Ouannes in that position. He could also show respect to the opponent by tweaking his lineup to be more defensive. Therefore, it will not be a surprise to see Methnani being the third man in midfield in place of Iheb Msakni.
Wydad Casablanca’s camp is completely unsettled. New coach, Garrido will not have time to tinker with anything. The team should therefore stick to the principles of Sebastien Desabre. But that has resulted in an awful run of results. The saving grace for Wydad will be playing at home and expectation that the better players, like Aouk and El Karti, will deliver good performances. Kazadi Kasengu could yet rediscover his earlier red hot form as the CAF Champions League resumes.
Wydad Casablanca 0-1 Etoile Sahel
Etoile are in better shape heading to this encounter and have a much better squad to force the result from. Wydad Casablanca are suffering poor form and will need time to regroup under Juan Garrido. This points to a valuable away win for Etoile Sahel.