Inside Belouizdad’s Game Plan Against Sundowns
Chabab Belouizdad Coach Optimistic About CAFCL Quarter-Finals
Chabab Belouizdad head coach Nabil Kouki believes that all the remaining teams in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals have an equal chance of winning the competition. Despite being unbeaten in their domestic season and on course for a fourth consecutive league title, the Algerian champions will face off against one of the favourites to win the competition, Mamelodi Sundowns.
Sundowns have already secured their sixth straight DStv Premiership crown with seven games to spare, indicating that this could be one of their strongest squads to date. However, Kouki remains optimistic about his team’s chances and believes that they have what it takes to potentially eliminate the South African giants.
Equal Opportunities for All Teams
Kouki believes that every team in the competition has a chance to win the Champions League, including his own. He stated, “All the teams left in the competition are good teams, we are included, so we will do our best to win the first leg and [try to] play comfortably in the second leg [in South Africa].”
Chabab Belouizdad assistant coach Nader Hbiri admitted that not many teams wanted to draw Sundowns, but he feels that all the group winners would have preferred to avoid CRB – who finished on ten points in Group D, one point behind Esperance de Tunis. He reiterated Kouki’s approach to the two-legged clash, saying, “And the first three teams want to avoid facing CRB because we’re an excellent team.”
Preparing for the Clash
Hbiri admitted that Sundowns is a strong and excellent team with strong technical and collective elements. However, he believes that Chabab Belouizdad has strong elements too, and they will prepare for the match to win the first leg comfortably and confidently play in the return match.
The two sides will face off for the first leg in Algiers at the Nelson Mandela Stadium on 22 April before the return leg at Loftus Versveld seven days later.