The Castle Lager Premier League champions face Al Ahly Tripoli in the reverse fixture of the CAF champions league group stages at the Stade Taïeb Mhiri, Sfax in Tunisia this evening.
The match kick’s off at 11pm Zimbabwean time.
CAPS United enter the match having a two goal deficit against the Libyans having lost 4-2 in Harare a fortnight ago. The Libyans are now using Tunisia as their base due to the instability caused by war in Libya.
CAPS United have lost two of their opening three fixtures in group B with a 2-0 defeat away at Zamalek in Egypt and the recent 4-2 defeat to Tripoli. Lloyd Chitembwe’s men will now be looking to make amends today against Tripoli in this tricky encounter away in Tunisia.
Tripoli, on the other hand, have won one, drawn one and lost one. A 3-0 defeat at the hands of USM Alger in their opening group B fixture followed by a draw away at Zamalek in Egypt appeared to dampen their hopes of making it past the group stages, but a convincing win against the Zimbabwean champions lifted their morale and improved their chances of progressing to the next round.
Zamalek top group B with five points with one win and two draws, followed by USM Alger on four points with one win, one draw and one loss. Al Ahly Tripoli, who are also on four points, are on third position on goal difference. CAPS United occupy fourth position in the group with three points. They have one win and two defeats.
CAPS United can go second in the group today if they can beat Tripoli and Zamalek can hold USM Alger to a draw away. In the same vein, if Zamalek draw against USM Alger, United, who have a goal difference of minus three, can go top of the group if they can score a huge tally of goals against Tripoli, a feat which is unlikely given that they are away in Tunisia.
If CAPS United lose in Tunisia, and Zamalek open the gap at the top with a win at USM Agler, it could become an uphill task for the Zimbabwean champions to find their way into the next stage of the competition with two games remaining.
CAPS United have been boosted by the return of centre-back and vice-captain, Dennis Dauda, who had a conspicuous absence in their 4-2 defeat to Tripoli in the first leg.
The return of experienced veteran goalkeeper, Edmore Sibanda, in the return leg will also be good news to Lloyd Chitembwe after second choice goalkeeper, Jorum Muchambo, who has not made a start in many games this season, saw Tripoli net four goals past him in the first leg.
However, veteran striker and 2016 Castle Lager Premier League golden boot winner, Leonard Tsipa will not be part of the squad nursing a knee injury he suffered a few months ago. Tafadzwa Rusike, will also no be part of the squad which will face Tripoli in Tunisia due to a knee problem.
CAPS United XI:
E.Sibanda, H .Zvirekwi, J Jangano, R Pfumbidzayi,D. Dauda D.Chafa, M .Muchenje, R.Chitiyo, P. Bamusi, A. Amidu, D .Chungwa
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