CAF Champions League

Battle lines drawn for Esperance - Etoile clash

Esperance head coach Radhi Jaïdi. Photo | Backpage Pix
Esperance head coach Radhi Jaïdi. Photo | Backpage Pix


Esperance de Tunis will face off with their Tunisian rivals, Etoile du Sahel in a CAF Champions League Group C match at the Stade Hammadi Agrebi in Tunis on Saturday.

The Blood and Gold had to fight back to hold Algerian champions CR Belouizdad to a 1-1 draw in their previous match which was a Group C encounter at the Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers last weekend.

Therefore, the Tunisian champions are placed at the top of the group standings - two points above second-placed Etoile and Esperance are also undefeated in their four matches across all competitions.

Despite his side being undefeated in Group C, Radhi Jaidi, the Esperance head coach, feels that Blood and Gold are under pressure and he hopes the team produces an improved display against Etoile.

“Getting a point on the road against a solid opponent is a good thing. We could have done better by taking advantage of the opportunities obtained," Jaidi said Gnet News.

"We have to improve our performance and focus on our next matches against ES Sahel. There will be a lot of pressure. I hope we will have two good matches with the fair play."

Meanwhile, Etoile remain winless in Group C having conceded late in their 1-1 draw with Botswana champions Jwaneng Galaxy at the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown last weekend.

The Pearl of the Coast are placed second on the group standings - level on points with third-placed Belouizdad and Etoile are winless in their eight games across all competitions.

Etoile are under the guidance of French coach Roger Lemerre and have announced the re-signing of defender Zied Boughattas, who spent a decade with the club and he has been a free agent since leaving Egypt's ENPPI late last year.

"Tunisian Champion 2016, Tunisia Cup 2012 - 2014 - 2015, African Confederation Cup Champion 2015, Arab Club Champion 2019," a club statement read on Friday.

"Welcome back Zied Boughattas. Welcome back the fighter."

The last competitive meeting between Esperance and Etoile was on 26 May 2021.

Etoile secured a 1-0 win over Esperance in the Tunisian Cup Round of 16 match at the Stade Olympique de Rades in Rades.