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Mokwena Names Al Ahly Key Player & Who Pitso Will Miss

Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Rulani Mokwena has explained which Al Ahly star Pitso Mosimane will miss the most, while also highlighting their danger man ahead of their CAF Champions League clash.

Masandawana arrived in Egypt ahead of their mammoth quarter-final first leg in Cairo on Saturday.

Mokwena, who has a wide-ranging exclusive interview in this week’s iDiski Times, has insisted Mosimane will miss the services of injured left-back Ali Maaloul before pointing out Mohamed Sherif is currently the most dangerous player in ‘Jingles’ squad.

“[Ali] Maaloul, I think is probably their biggest loss. It’s difficult to find a left-back across the continent, maybe even in a global space, that averages about 80 ball contacts and involvements in relation to passes over 90 minutes,” Mokwena told the club’s media department.

“And that’s what Maloul does. He gives them so much more possibilities to defend but also to create things and even project to find final-third entries from the sides.

“Because that is predominantly the profile of Al Ahly where they use the full-backs, [Mohamed] Hany and Beckham on the right, Maloul and [Ayman] Ashraf on the left. 

“It is clear to see that maybe [opposed to] the profile of some of the teams that we play in the PSL, they average about 14 crosses into the box over 90 minutes per match, so very dominant in their wing-play, very aggressive on the sides and with their key player Mohamed Sherif, who at this moment in time is over performing his xG [expected goals]. He is their top goalscorer with 12 goals but with an xG of about 10.

“So not only is he important in relation of developing the play and finding himself in goalscoring possibilities. They look for him and they play for him, whether with the ball behind the defense or whether he drops in front to develop the play, they instinctively try to find their full-backs or wingers. 

“[Hussein] El Shahat, very important for them on the right, [Taher] Mohamed [on the left], even [Akram] Tawfik sometimes finds himself in those possibilities to create those crosses and play for situations to create goalscoring opportunities. 

“It will be an interesting game and, of course, we’ve got the responsibility to not just come to Egypt to dominate the pitch, as always to expose ourselves, but to be tactically astute in how we go about our business.”

“IT’S NOT US vs PITSO,” Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Rulani Mokwena told iDiski Times‘ David Kappel and you can read his full exclusive interview, where he also chats about his relationship with Mosimane and how Downs will prepare for Al Ahly, why he admires Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, which advise Jurgen Klopp gave him as well as his dream of coaching in Europe, in this week’s edition – available in English and Zulu.