‘Les Corbeaux’ nicked a 2-0 win in the previous fixture between the two sides a fortnight ago in the resort city of Alexandria, their first at this stage, and look set to annex the maximum points in front of their army of fans, who have supported the team throughout.
Following the maiden win, Mazembe share top spot with Hilal on five points apiece, and Carteron is well aware completing a double over the Egyptian debutants will put them in a good stead of a place at the last four.
But the non-exciting news for the Lubumbashi boys is the unavailability of three players via suspension – defender Yaw Frimpong and midfield duo, Merveille Bope and Rainford Kalaba. Zambia captain Kalaba opened the scores against Smouha in the first clash before Ghana-import Daniel Nii Adjei sealed victory later in the second half.
“We have three players suspended, but in all competitions, these are things that can happen,” Carteron told the club’s website.
The refreshing piece of information however for the Frenchman is the return of midfielder Nathan Sinkala, who has recovered from an injury, sustained on duty for Zambia during the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea last January.
Sinkala, who is returning to the Congolese side after loan spells with French side, Sochaux, and Grasshoppers of Switzerland last season, showed glimpses of his old self in a test match earlier in the week, giving Carteron a concern not to worry about the absence of Bope.
“Nathan (Sinkala) was excellent. It will offset the suspension of Merveille (Bope). In the absence of Rainford (Kalaba), Adama Traore is fine and Solomon Asante is great. The balance of the team is good and we have to continue from there.”
Hilal will be at home to Tetouane in the other Group A match on Friday, 7 August 2015 in Omdurman.
In Group B, Algeria’s USM Alger are favoured to qualify for the last four against fellows MC Eulma on Friday whilst holders ES Setif travel to Omdurman as guests of El Merreikh of Sudan on Sunday.
7.8.2015 21H15 El Hilal (Sudan) vs Moghreb Tetouan (Morocco)
8.8.2015 15H30 TP Mazembe (DR Congo) vs Smouha (Egypt)
7.8.2015 21H15 MC Eulma (Algeria) vs USM Alger (Algeria)
9.8.2015 22H00 El Merreikh (Sudan) vs ES Setif (Algeria)
*All times are in local time