Sudanese giants, Al-Merrikh will host Angolan side Interclube in their Orange CAF Confederation Cup day one clash on Saturday in Omdurman. Brazilian coach of Al-Merrikh, Heron Ricado told Cafonline.com that they are poised for victory in their quest to go farthest in the competition.
How have you been preparing for your game with Interclube on Saturday?
We started preparations last week, but the downpour this week affected our training sessions. Prior to that, we have had some effective sessions. Our matches in the Sudan Premier League have also served a big plus to our preparations.
What the state of your players towards the opening match of the group phase?
Less than three weeks, I had between 13 and 14 players at my disposal due to injuries and other problems which forced us to play the second round playoff of the Orange CAF Confederation Cup with a limited list and choices. The current situation is good, as I have more than 20 players available for the Saturday game. We will only miss the services of Raji Abdulaati, Amir Kamal and Al Tahir Alhag.
How will you approach the game?
I'm still working on our game plan and I'm also watching videos of our opponents, to spot their weakness and strengths as well as strategise for the game. I want to know everything about our opponents as it will aid our quest for victory.
What do you make of the presence of three Sudanese clubs in the same group?
In fact, the presence of a three Sudanese clubs, competing in one group of one CAF competition is very rare. But, I have a different view of the situation. I'm aware there are three Sudanese clubs, but I want to beat them and secure my ticket for the semi final.
Who do you think are the favourites?
We cannot say that Al Merrikh or Al Hilal will be luckier. It is not an easy group, Al Hilal is an experienced side, Interclube is very strong and Al Ahly Shandy appears very ambitious. Also, we cannot afford many mistakes, and cannot be certain that Merrikh or Hilal will reach the semi finals.