Egypt’s Zamalek will clash with Morocco’s RS Berkane in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final on Monday morning (12am – Cairo Time) at the Stade Municipal de Berkane, Morocco.
Zamalek, led by Swiss coach Christian Gross, aims to achieve a positive result in the first leg to make their job easier in the second leg in Egypt scheduled for 26 May at Borg El Arab stadium.
The White Knights enters the game with high morale after winning two consecutive league games, raising their score to 66 points in the second place behind Al Ahly with 70 points.
The Whites have defeated Étoile du Sahel 1-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals. In the dying moments of the game, goalkeeper Mahmoud Gennesh received a second yellow card and was sent off, with the club’s forward Omar El-Said being forced to replace him between the sticks.
This meant that Gennesh will miss the first-leg of the final, with his replacement being Emad El-Sayed, whose last appearance for the Whites came in Zamalek’s 4-1 victory over Misr El-Makkasa last January.
To add insult to injury, El-Sayed sustained an injury in the Sunday league game against El Dakhleya, which means that Salah will be the only goalkeeper left.
Gross was keen to hold a meeting with goalkeeper Salah to encourage him especially as the game is difficult and has the attention of the media and fans.
Gross asked his players to focus and avoid committing any mistakes.
Five players from RS Berkane will miss the first leg of the final, namely Mohammed Aziz, midfielder Najji Larbi, Abdessamad El Moubarki, Youssef Essaiydy, and Alain Traoré.