The 25,000 capacity Stade Messaoud Zougar, will be the venue of attraction when Asante Kotoko take on MC El Eulma of Algeria on Saturday in the CAF Champions League.The two sides are both limping into this game with uninspiring performances in their domestic leagues: Kotoko are in the relegation zone of the Ghana Premier League and have gone 6 games with a victory, while Eulma are 11 in the League 1.
However, the Ghana champions are motivated by the signing of former Hearts of Oak coach’s, David Duncan, as Didi Dramani’s successor. He will be on their bench for the first time when Kotoko face their Algerian counterpart.
Moreover, the Ghana FA has donated an amount of $30,000 to Kotoko to boost their morale ahead of this duel.
El Eulma have contrasting statistics in terms of goal scoring; have scored 30 league goals which is the second highest in the Algerian league, while they have conceded 28 goals which is the highest in their league.
They have won 8 of their 11 games at home in the domestic league.
Kotoko had a walkover at the preliminary stage, after Lions of Sierra Leone pulled out, while El Eulma qualified through the away goal rule following a 2 all draw on aggregate against Kedus Giorgis of Ethiopia; lost 2-1 away and won 1-0 at home.
The Eulmis have the leading top scorer in the Algerian league, Walid Derradja, who has scored 13 goals. Other danger men in their team are Fares Hemitti with 6 goals and Ibrahim Chenihi with 5 goals to his credit.
Kotoko marksman is the Ivorian, Ahmed Toure, who has scored three goals in the GPL, as the club’s top leading scorer
Head to Head
Kotoko will take on MC El Eulma for the first time
The Ghana champions are yet to knockout an Algeria opposition in any CAF competition. They have suffered elimination in all their 4 previous knock engagements against an Algerian side and are Ghanaian worst culprit.
-Kotoko in 2013 at this same stage were knocked by MO Bejaia from Algeria.
No Ghanaian club has ever won on Algerian soil and even though Kotoko in 2013 became the first side from Ghana to manage a draw in the North African country, they failed to qualify at home on the away goal rule.
-Ghanaian clubs have only qualified once ahead Algerian clubs in 10 knockout encounters in the CAF Inter-club competitions. Hearts of Oak remain the only side to eliminate an Algerian opposition, when they won 3-2 on aggregate in 1982 against USK Algiers in the Cup Winners Cup.
-It has been all Algeria when it comes to the elite competition on the African continent; all four knockout games have gone in their favour.
-Kotoko are the 2 times champions of Africa, while this is El Eulma maiden appearance time El Eulma are participating in any CAF compettion.
-The Porcupine Warriors are in the Champions League by virtue of winning the Ghana league, whereas Eulma finished 4 in their league, but qualified for the CAF Champions League, because Setif of Algeria had automatic qualification as the defending champions of the competition
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