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FIERCE CONTEST: Champions League Antagonists Ahly & Mazembe Battle for Spot in the Final

TP Mazembe face a real test to this Friday night as their continental ambition will be decided in the cauldron of the Cairo International Stadium where Al Ahly of Cairo awaits them firmly in the “classico” of champions.

This TotalEnergies CAF Champions League semi-final return leg duel brings together a staggering 16 crowns of the most prestigious club cup in Africa shared between the two antagonists: 11 for Al Ahly and 5 for Mazembe.

Mazembe’s opponents, the Red Devils rise, all blushing and indomitable in light of their stratospheric figures extended over the last four years in which they have reached this stage of the competition.

In their eight semi-final matches played over two legs, Ahly have 7 victories to reach for 4 consecutive finals in which they have been gone on to win three titles in 2020, 2021 as well as 2023 and a sad second place in 2022.

It is clear that for Ahly that the challenge and the motivation when they host Mazembe tonight will be victory to make it into the final for the fifth straight season.

Ahly are also seeking for a new page to write in their immense history as they would become the first club to achieve this sacred feat in the elite of African football.

But, we must not completely rule out Crows of Lubumbashi who enter the closed courtyard without boasting with a galaxy of talented youthful stars such as Cheick Fofana, Fily Traoré blended with the experience that Glody Likonza represents.

In-form Fily Traoré reunites with his 20-year-old Malian compatriot, Fofana, who has emerged as the catalyst for Mazembe’s epic run in the competition with his four goals in the competition so far.

The reunion of the Malian duo will come as a source of great joy for Mazembe coach Lamine Ndiaye who found it difficult to get compensation for Fofana who had been due to injury.

Fofana will be a key player for Mazembe tonight having proved to be a virtuoso with shown exemplary character in this season’s campaign.

Mazembe have so far only lost twice by the smallest of margins 1-0 against Mamelodi Sundowns and Pyramids FC also from Egypt and winning 5 matches with two of those having been played away.

Meanwhile, Ahly have been sluggish and have not unrolled as smoothly as in previous years and will be under pressure facing Mazembe at home tonight.

Their trump cards will be Percy Tau and Anthony Modeste although Hussein El Shahat, their leading top scorer, is returning from injury and could be key for Marcel Koller’s side.

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