Belouizdad braces for acid test against Ahly

Edwin  - CEO February 15, 2024
Updated 2024/02/16 at 8:22 AM
3 Min Read

 As TotalEnergies CAF Champions League returns



Algerian club Belouizdad faces a mammoth challenge when they host African heavyweights Al Ahly in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League on Friday.


The postponed Group D clash sees Belouizdad take on the Egyptian giants at the 5 July 1962 Olympic Stadium in Algiers.


With qualification still up for grabs, Belouizdad manager Marcus Paqueta knows his side faces a massive test against the continental titans.


“The match between Al Ahly and Belouizdad is a derby between two prestigious teams,” Paqueta stated at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.


“We will approach this confrontation with great concentration to secure points, especially since our team is the host,”


Paqueta stressed the game’s magnitude for both clubs vying for quarter-final berths. But he insisted the result alone would not determine who progresses.


“The game will be tough for both teams, not just for Belouizdad,” outlined the Brazilian coach.


“Both teams will play their last group stage match at home, so the result of this match will not be decisive.”


The Belouizdad boss explained his work to fully prepare the Algerians mentally and tactically for the looming showdown.


“We have a strategy for playing matches, and we aim to win both at home and away, instilling this mindset in the players,” Paqueta remarked.


He also sent an impassioned plea to Belouizdad ‘s vociferous fans to rally behind the team against esteemed opponents.


“The fans must support us to encourage and motivate the players on the field,” urged Paqueta.


Belouizdad goalkeeper Alexis Guendouz acknowledged they face a Herculean task against the Egyptian club.


“Victory against Al Ahly will make our mission easier. Our goal is qualification, and we will enter the match with full determination to win,” insisted Guendouz.


Al Ahly will also be without crucial man Aliou Dieng due to injury, a further blow for the Cairo outfit.


But make no mistake, conquering African heavyweights Al Ahly represents a monumental challenge for Belouizdad.


Paqueta and Guendouz know flawless focus gives their side the best chance to overcome domestic rivals and reach the Champions League last eight.


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