Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) head coach Kadiri Ikhana says Nigerian champions Enyimba will be knocked out of this season’s CAF Champions League today if they underrate their Tunisian opponents Etoile Sportive du Sahel.
Enyimba go into today’s second-leg, second-round clash with a 3-0 advantage from the first leg which saw the competition’s top scorer, Mfon Udoh, weigh in with a hat-trick.
The Peoples Elephant will progress to the group stage of the competition if they avoid a four-goal margin defeat to the Diables Rouges (Red Devils) at Stade Olympique de Sousse, Sousse tonight.
“It will be dangerous for Enyimba if they think they have qualified for the group stage because they beat Etoile 3-0 in the first leg.
“I spoke to some members of the Enyimba technical crew and explained to them that it is not over against Etoile.
“North African teams can easily turn around even a four-goal deficit and, as such, 3-0 against Etoile is not really such a big deal,” Ikhana said.
The experienced trainer, who led Enyimba to their first CAF Champions League title in 2003, also warned that the weather conditions in Sousse today could be an important factor in the eventual outcome of the game.
The temperature in Sousse is expected to drop to 16 degrees this evening when the game will kick off.
“At this time of the year, the weather in Sousse is quite cold, especially when you compare it with what you have in Nigeria now.
“The Enyimba players should approach the game as though they did not score a single goal in the first leg.
“This Etoile team can actually score six goals at home.
“However, I am confident in this Enyimba team. They have the players who can get the job done.
“If they play with the right attitude, I am sure they will get as far as the final of this year’s CAF Champions League,” he said.
Kick-off is 6pm Nigerian time at the already sold-out Olympic Stadium in Sousse.
CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES
TP Mazembe v Wydad Athletic Club 15:30
Ahly Tripoli vAsec Mimosas 17:00
Mamelodi Sundowns v AS Vita Club 19:30
Al Ahly v Young Africans 19:30
ES Sahel v Enyimba 20:00