Zamalek currently top Group B with four points, one more than their Algerian opponents after two games. The White Knights scored two unanswered goals against Zimbabwean champions, CAPS United, before holding Libya's Ahly Tripoli to a barren draw last week. USM Alger on the other hand defeated Ahly Tripoli 3-0 before succumbing to a 2-1 defeat at CAPS.
“Now we close the domestic front page and are thinking of our next CAF game”.
The Portuguese tactician who joined Zamalek last month has made it clear that his side's target is to go as far as the ultimate. Last season, Zamalek reached the final, before losing to eventual champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, extending their continental trophy drought which dates back to 2002, when they won their fifth CAF Champions League title.
“We think of only winning against USM Alger. They are a good side but we will play to win. I believe my team can do it and win this group, with respect to all our opponents,” added the 62-year old, whose previous clubs include Portuguese giants, Sporting Lisbon.
Zamalek are currently third in Egyptian Premier League rankings, having surrendered the title race to arch rivals Al Ahly who won the title for the 39th time in their history.
The Egyptians will have to do without two key players in midfield; Tarek Hamed is suspended while Mahmoud "Dunga" Abdul Aty is injured.
The White Knights will be banking on the Nigerian duo of Maaruf Youssef and Stanley Ohawuchi, besides the talents of their skipper Mahmoud "Shikabala" Abdul Razek.
In the other Group B match, CAPS United will entertain Ahli Tripoli same day in Harare.
3.06.2017 Beira Ferroviario da Beira (Mozambique) vs El Merreikh (Sudan)
3.06.2017 Sousse Etoile du sahel (Tunisia) vs El Hilal (Sudan)
2.06.2017 Harare Caps United (Zimbabwe) vs Ahly Tripoli (Libya)
2.06.2017 Alexandria Zamalek (Egypt) vs USM Alger
2.06.2017 Pretoria Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) vs Esperance (Tunisia)
4.06.2017 Addis Ababa Saint George (Ethiopia) vs AS Vita (DR Congo)
3.06.2017 Lusaka Zanaco (Zambia) vs Coton Sport (Cameroon)
4.06.2017 Alexandria Al Ahly (Egypt) vs Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco)