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Etoile du Sahel v ZESCO United Preview & Tips: L'Étoile set to pick up first three points of group stage
2007 Champions set for first home match of new campaign
Etoile du Sahel keen to bounce back from cup final defeat against ZESCO (SALAH HABIBI/AFP/Getty Images)
Etoile du Sahel v ZESCO United Preview & Tips
Etoile du Sahel host Zambian champions Zesco United at the Stade Olympique de Sousse. Both sides are searching for their first wins of the group stage.
Etoile du Sahel
Etoile du Sahel come into this fixture on the back of a disappointing Tunisian Cup final loss to rivals Club Africain. L'Étoile were torn apart in a humiliating 4-1 loss that has caused uproar amongst the fans.
Coach Khaireddine Madhoui has reportedly stepped down after just one season in charge with the Tunisian champions without hope of any domestic silverware this season.
Etoile will be desperate to make amends for the cup defeat and also build on their opening day draw at Primeiro de Agosto. The Tunisians scored late-on to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw in Luanda.
Amine Chermiti is expected to spearhead a three-man attack with Alkhali Bangoura and Iheb Msakni on either side as the hosts go for a fifth straight home win in the CAF Champions League.
Zambian champions and 2016 semi-finalists Zesco United will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing matchday one draw to debutants Mbabane Swallows.
The team from Swaziland frustrated Zesco for long spells of the encounter before eventually scoring a late equalizer against a run of play to earn a 1-1 draw.
Coach George Lwandamina is hoping Zesco United can extend their recent two-match unbeaten away run in North Africa.
Zesco have not lost on the road in North Africa in both competitions since Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco silenced them 2-0 in a group stage fixture on in June 2016 in Casablanca. They also drew 1-1 away to record African champions Al Ahly of Egypt also in the group stage same year.
Lazarous Kambole pace has been a main threat for Zesco lately and should be the man to watch once again when they head to Tunisia.
Both sides are have never met on the Continent. Zesco United coach George Lwandamina has left Burundi goalkeeper Diuedonne Ntibahezwa at home and has replaced him with Lameck Nyangu.
Lwandamina has also opted for back-up in midfield for the away game, dropping defender Bornwell Silengo and striker Logic Chingandu.
These alterations mean Zesco will look to defend. Etoile have a fully fit squad for this match and the expected negative approach will play give the hosts time on the ball.
Msakni, Aymen Trabelsi and Hamza Lahmar will get lots of time on the ball and their invention will prove key for the home side.
- Etoile du Sahel have won 6 of their last 7 matches (All Competitions).
- Etoile du Sahel have kept a clean sheet in 4 of their last 6 matches at home (All Competitions).
- Etoile du Sahel are unbeaten in their 21 matches at home (CAF CL).
- ZESCO United are winless in 6 of their last 8 away matches (CAF CL).
Etoile have a phenomenal home record and hardly drop points at Stade Olympique de Sousse. Zesco were disappointing in their first game and I expect them to struggle with the intensity of Etoile.
Defeat in the Cup in midweek means Etoile will go into this one with a point to prove.
Best Bet: Etoile du Sahel to win to nil at 1.70
Correct Score Bet: Etoile du Sahel to win 2-0 at 4.50