Enyimba FC are expecting a tougher challenge when the final qualifying round of the 2016 CAF Champions League ranks the center stage today.
With a team looking so determined before leaving for Tunisia the chairman of the People’s Elephants, Felix Anyansi-Agwu said that seven-time Nigerian champions are prepared and ready for any challenge.
“We are ready for a filled stand at Etoile du Sahel, they will cheer their team and may be unfriendly but we won’t be intimidated,” Anyansi said.
“We are prepared for the task ahead, we have trained under floodlight and on an artificial turf, we hope to continue from where we left it in the first leg.”
With a lucrative group stage slot at stake, Enyimba will be motivated to break a four years jinx where no Nigerian club has played at any CAF club competitions group stage since 2012.
He however said that the main game plan for the People’s Elephants against Etoile du Sahel today is to ensure they work against conceding corners and free kicks around their goal area.
Enyimba beat Etoile 3-0 in a CAF Champions League second round, first leg match in Nigeria, but the top Tunisian club aim to overturn that loss to qualify for the money-spinning group phase of the competition.
“Enyimba will ensure they do not concede too many corners and free kicks around their box because Etoile are very deadly on set pieces with their giant defenders as well as top striker Ahmed Akaichi great at finishing off any team this way,” he said.
“Even when Enyimba beat them 3-0 in Port Harcourt, they came very close to scoring through those set pieces and in one instance, goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai had to make a big save to deny them.”
Enyimba have also trained for this crunch clash with the first team playing a man short should they have a player sent off during the match in Sousse.
They will be without suspended star midfielder Joseph Osadiaye, while they are sweating on the fitness of another midfielder, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu ‘Mosquito’, who has only recovered from food poisoning this week.
Kick-off is 6pm Nigerian time at the already sold-out Olympic Stadium in Sousse.