Esperance Tunis vs Al Ahly - Egyptians on the brink of ninth title

The visitors to settle for stalemate in Tunisia
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Al Ahly set to clinch CAF Champions League crown with draw at Esperance (Getty Images)

Esperance Tunis vs Al Ahly Match Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Al Ahly are poised to claim their ninth CAF Champions League title as they travel to the Rades Stadium for the second leg of the 2018 final against Esperance Tunis. The visitors have a solid advantage from the first leg and should complete the job on Friday.

Esperance Tunis


The Tunisians suffered a 3-1 defeat to Al Ahly in the first leg of Friday's clash in Cairo. Youcef Belaili scored their only goal from the penalty spot after the break as they were overwhelmed by the superior quality of the Egyptians. 

Moin Chaabani's team will attempt to build on their away goal as they look to secure their third AFC Champions League title. However, they have not been in the best form heading into the second leg having suffered three defeats in their last five matches.  

Star striker Taha Yassine Khenissi has struggled for goals in recent matches having failed to score in his last five appearances for the club. The striker is still expected to lead the line on Friday with Belaili and Anice Badri providing support.

Esperance supporters are likely to be left disappointed by their team (Getty Images)

Al Ahly


The Egyptians will be heading to Tunis in confident mood following that 3-1 victory in the first leg last Friday. Walid Soliman grabbed two goals from the penalty spot while Amr Al Sulaya struck a third as they secured a hefty advantage.

Patrice Carteron's team are targeting their ninth AFC Champions League title having lost to Wydad Casablanca in the final last season. They have been good on their travels in the competition this year with three wins and a draw in their last six away matches.

Soliman appears to have burst into life in the knockout phase of the competition having scored three goals in his last two matches. The forward will be partnered in attack by Islam Mohareb and Walid Azarou, who has also accounted for six goals in the tournament so far.

Al-Ahly's Egyptian forward Walid Soliman has been in good form (Getty Images)

Head-to-Head 


Esperance Tunis and Al Ahly have faced each other 15 times in the past with the Egyptians leading the head-to-head by eight wins to three. The visitors are also unbeaten in their last seven matches against Esperance with five wins in that run.

Both teams met during the group stage of the competition with the Egyptians earning a 1-0 victory in Tunisia. 

Match-Up 


Al Ahly have been solid defensively on their travels in the competitions having kept three clean sheets and conceded just one goal in their last four away matches. The duo of Ayman Ashraf and Salif Coulibaly will be confident of shutting out Khenissi and Balaili.

Esperance also have a solid defensive record at home in the Champions League with five clean sheets in their last seven matches in front of their fans. Chamseddine Dhaouadi and Khalil Chemmam have impressed in the competition and should stand firm against Azarou, Mohareb and Soliman.

Key Statistics


  • Esperance Tunis are unbeaten in 7 of their last 9 home matches (CAF Champions League).
  • Esperance Tunis and Al Ahly have seen Under 2.5 goals in 7 of their last 12 meetings (All Competitions).
  • Al Ahly are unbeaten in 4 of their last 6 away matches. (CAF Champions League).
  • Al Ahly are unbeaten in their last 12 matches against Esperance Tunis (All Competitions). 
  • Al Ahly have seen Under 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 8 away matches (CAF Champions League).

Verdict


Al Ahly have had an impressive campaign in this year’s Champions League and also have a solid record against Esperance Tunis. Back the Egyptians to complete the job with a low scoring draw.

Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.75 – 5 Units
Value Bet: Draw @ 3.15 – 2 Units
Correct Score Bet: 1-1 @ 6.00 – 1 Unit
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Eric Smith 07 November 2018

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