Rangers vs Zamalek
Venue: Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium
Kick off: 4PM
Nigeria’s Rangers International will be hoping to upturn a 4-1 deficit as they take on Zamalek of Egypt in the Champions League Round of 32 second leg on Sunday (today) at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu.
Rangers manager, Imama Amapakabo, hopes that “gods of football” will help his side do the unexpected as they need to win by a margin of three or more to eliminate Zamalek from the round of 32 of the Champions League.
“Despite the fact that we lost 4-1 in the first leg it does not mean we cannot change the tune of the music here in Nigeria,” the Nigerian manager stated this on CAF website.
“The first leg has come and gone and we have moved on. The important thing is that I have my team intact and I believe we will perform wonders this weekend.
Amapakabo continued showing he has faith in a comeback by saying: “We know it won’t be an easy match but we are banking on the fact that we want to maintain the jinx we have broken in the league after 32 years.
“We intend to do the same in the continental club championship because it has been a decade since Rangers the country in the CAF Champions league.
“The truth is that we will put in our best to make we score goals and win the day and qualify to the group stage, but only if the players will step up their game and make use of their chances once the need arises,” he concluded.
Zamalek travel to Enugu with a 4-1 advantage from the first leg, with Zamalek attackers Ohawuchi, Hossam Salama, Ayman Hefni and Mostafa Fathi all shining at El-Salam Stadium.
A late goal from forward Bobby Clement, however, meant the Nigerians scored an away goal that they hope would prove crucial in helping them mount a fightback at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.
Theoretically, Zamalek should find no problem advancing to the last-16, going into the return leg with an almost fully-fit squad.
They will only miss keeper Ahmed El-Shennawi after sustaining a thigh injury in the last moments before heading for Nigeria, with Zamalek manager Mohamed Helmi now resorting to Egypt Super Cup hero Mahmoud Gennesh between the sticks.
Left-back Mohamed Nassef could make his long-awaited comeback from injury after manager Helmi was forced to move natural right-back Hosni Fathi across to the left in recent league games.
Young left-back Ahmed Fattouh proved reliable in the 4-1 win in Cairo, but Helmi would prefer to go for the experienced Nassef instead in the away clash.
Midfielders Mahmoud Abdel-Aati and Ahmed Tawfik have all returned from injury, giving the Zamalek management further options at the center of the park, alongside Tarek Hamed and Maarouf Yussuf.
Skipper Shikabala has been omitted probably due to fitness reasons after appearing out of shape as a second-half substitute in the first leg.