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Preview: Ahly eye early qualification for Champions League quarters against Simba

Ten days after thrashing Simba of Tanzania 5-0 at Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium in the Champions League group stage, Ahly will face the Tanzanian side again at Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.

The Red Devils, who are leaders of Group D with seven points, will be looking to secure an early place in the competition’s quarter finals with two games remaining in the group stage.

To achieve this mission, Ahly has to win in Dar es Salaam and needs the help of Congolese side Vita Club, who should avoid loss when they face JS Saoura later on Tuesday.

Even if Vita Club fails to earn a positive result against JS Saoura, a win in the Tuesday clash will bring Ahly close to reaching the quarters as group leaders.

Theoretically, Ahly’s mission in Tanzania will not be tough given the mediocre performance of Simba in Alexandria.

The eight-time African champions dominated the game in Alexandria and the visitors failed to show any sign of a threat for the Cairo giants.

“We are here [in Tanzania] to win and return to Cairo with three points of the game,” Ahly’s coach Martin Lasarte told the pre-match news conference on Monday.

“Our strategy is to clinch the maximum possible points from our six games in the group.”

“My target is to win the game, but I believe it will not be easy like the previous game in Alexandria.”

As usual, Ahly will play on Tuesday without many players, who will miss the game due to different injuries.

This time, Ahly’s absences will be confined to the back line as the Red Devils head to Tanzania with only three defenders, given the recent injury of Saad Samir, which has made him unavailable for Tuesday’s clash.

“We are used to playing without many key players,” Lasarte said. “It is normal with our busy schedule, but we are determined to win the game.”

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