Wydad Casablanca and Simba SC face off in a highly anticipated CAF Champions League quarter-final second-leg game at Stade Mohamed V in Morocco on Friday.
Wydad Casablanca will look to overturn their 1-0 defeat to Simba in the first-leg clash in Tanzania on April 22. The Moroccan champions had their five-match unbeaten run in the Champions League come to an end, but they are undefeated in their last nine home matches in continental tournaments, having recorded seven wins and two draws.
Simba, on the other hand, bounced back from their defeat to Raja Casablanca in their final group stage game, claiming a narrow win over Wydad in the first leg. The Tanzanian giants have won two out of their last three away games in the competition, including a win over Ugandan side Vipers.
Both teams are at full strength, and no suspension concerns are expected. Mohamed Ounajem, who missed the first-leg game, is expected to return to the Wydad matchday squad after settling his dispute with the club’s head coach. Sambo Jr. is also set to return from suspension. The Senegalese international is Wydad’s top scorer this season with 17 goals, 6 of them in the Champions League.
Wydad and Simba have met twice in the Champions League since 2011, with each team having recorded a win. However, the Red Castle will be hoping to repeat their 3-0 thrashing of Simba the last time they hosted the Reds of Msimbazi in May 2011.
Wydad head coach Juan Carlos Garrido is confident that his team will bounce back, saying, “with the presence of our fans and our players having recovered, we will snatch the ticket for the semifinals.” Meanwhile, Simba head coach Roberto Oliveira ‘Robertinho’ believes his team is getting stronger every day and tackles every game with great respect.
It’s set to be a thrilling encounter as both teams fight for a place in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League.