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Preview: Coton Sport vs. Ahli
Published in FilGoal on 05 - 10 - 2013

Kickoff: 16.00 CLT
CAF Champions League – Semi-final – First leg
Venue: Stade Roumdé-Adjia, Garoua
Referee: Jan Sikazwe (Zambia)
-Coton Sport have not failed to score at home in 23 consecutive Champions League matches, excluding preliminaries.
-Ahli conceded no goals in their last two away games; the first time they kept back-to-back clean sheets on the road since 2008.
-The last time Ahli played in Garoua was in November 2008 when they held Coton to a 2-2 draw to clinch their sixth title.
-Ahli's 4-2 aggregate victory over Coton the 2008 final included just one goal from open play, scored by Ahmed Hassan in the away draw.
-Among Ahli's four goalscorers in 2008, only Wael Gomaa is still playing for the Reds.
-Ahli captain Gomaa is exactly one year older than Coton manager Sébastien Desabre.
-The average age of Coton's starting eleven in the last game against Esperance was 22.6 years, even though their youngest player (Kada Yougouda) didn't feature.
-The average age of Ahli's starting eleven in the last game against Orlando Pirates was 27.8 years, even though their eldest player (Gomaa) didn't feature.

Ahli won the title in Garou five years ago
Coton Sport coach Sébastien Desabre
"We have a well-formulated strategy. It is based on the strength of the group. We play an offensive game with the purpose of scoring the maximum number of goal.
"But also we must make sure that defensively, we don't concede.
"Ahli are a great club with top players, but we feel that this season, we are at the same level as they are."
Ahli coach Mohamed Youssef
"Thinking that we managed to beat Coton the last time we met in 2008 makes no sense. There is no room for complacency among my players.
"These types of matches need a balanced approach because we have to get a positive result from the away game.
"But we are always playing for a win. It will surely be very tough because they are playing at home.
"I have already decided my starting eleven but I prefer not to announce it until shortly before the game."
Ahli's defense trio Gomaa, Ahmed Fathi and Sherif Abdul-Fadil have been declared fit after picking up minor injuries in training.
The Reds are still missing Egypt striker Emad Meteb, who is on the verge of recovering from a long-term back injury.

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