Verdict: Al Ahly win
Best Odds: 2/3
With the CAF Champions League up for grabs on Saturday night, the Kaizer Chiefs will face off against defending champions Al Ahly in Casablanca this weekend.
Starting with the Kaizer Chiefs, while the South African-based outfit might have been tipped as a landslide underdog to extend on their CAF Champions League adventure last month, Stuart Baxter’s side stunned almost everyone across the continent. Making the trip to Moroccan side Wydad AC on June 19th priced as high as 14/1 with some bookmakers, the one-time England youth coach saw his side pick up a stunning 1-0 win. Managing to see of the job with what was a gritty 0-0 stalemate on home soil a fortnight ago, the mood in The Chiefs’ camp should be at a real high as they travel back to Casablanca this weekend. Now enjoying what has been a real purple patch and also managing to muster three clean sheets on the spin, Baxter’s men have really bounced back from a woeful run of form earlier in the year. However, while Amakhosi might be enjoying their brightest unbeaten run since the middle of April, they will know that they need a real upset once again on Saturday night.
With both Dumisani Zuma and Lebohang Lesako still dealing with knee injuries, neither are expected to feature on Saturday.
However, make a shock late return to training, midfielder Khama Billiat could play some part this weekend.
As for Al Ahly, while the Kaizer Chiefs might have scrapped their way to the final of this year’s CAF Champions League, the defending champions romped their way to Casablanca in some style. Once again tipped by many across the continent as a standout pick to only break more records this weekend, the Egyptian-based outfit should find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. Signing off their semi-final second-leg against ES Tunis with a 3-0 victory, Pitso Mosimane’s men open Saturday’s finale in the midst of a real purple patch. While they might have all but relinquished their domestic crown this year, they were last seen picking up a 4-1 victory away at Misr Lel Makasa. In fact, Al Ahly are now enjoying an extended 11-match unbeaten run, a run that stems all the way back to the start of May. Looking to lift their 10th CAF Champions League crown this weekend, it’s well worth keeping an eye out for the free-scoring Mohamed Sherif. Once again bagging a brace last time out, the 25-year-old has eight goals in his last seven matchups.
Veteran striker Walid Soliman will not feature on Saturday due to a quadricep injury.
Likewise, Mohamed Mahmoud and Karim Walid have been ruled out in Casablanca.
Key Factors to Consider
- Al Ahly are unbeaten in each of their last 11 matchups across all formats, a run that stems back to the start of May.
- Attacking talisman Mohamed Sherif has eight goals in his last seven contests.
- Al Ahly have scored 15 goals in just their last six matchups across all formats.
- The Kaizer Chiefs are unbeaten in each of their last four matchups, their best run since the middle of April.
- Likewise, The Chiefs have recorded three clean sheets on the spin.
While the Kaizer Chiefs might have managed to scrape their way past Wydad AC thanks to a stunning aggregate victory earlier in the month, they know that they face a stern test this weekend. Up against defending champions Al Ahly, the Champions League record-breakers are once again tipped as a standout pick to reclaim their crown in Casablanca. Heading into Saturday’s final with a thumping 4-1 romp against Misr Lel Makasa on the road, the Egyptian-based outfit are in the midst of a real purple patch. Enjoying a free-scoring run and with attacking talisman Mohamed Sherif bagging eight goals in his last seven matchups, we’re backing an Al Ahly win here.
Verdict: Al Ahly win
Best Odds: 2/3
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