The current leader in Group A of the 2012 Orange CAF Champions League mini phase , Sudan's Al-Merreikh heads to Shandy City hoping for a win against Al Ahly Shandy that will secure a semi-finals spot. The match in northern Sudan City will be played on Sunday evening. Al-Merreikh's Brazilian coach told Cafonline.com ahead of the weekend game that his team has not yet qualified for the semi-finals and there is still plenty work to be done
What can be expected from Al-Merreikh this weekend?
Currently we are in the best position in the group but it will be very important for us to get at the very least one point from this game if we want to maintain our momentum towards a semi- final spot. Of course Al-Merreikh always play every game to defend well and attacked well. If we have opportunity to win will try to do so.
What chances does Al-Ahly Shandy have of winning on Sunday?
Al-Ahly Shandy doesn't have any option, but to win if they are to stay in the race for a semi -final place so it is going to be a difficult encounter as both sides seek to win. For me, Al-Ahly Shandy has the ability to qualify for the semi-finals. Of course they can win this weekend's match but we are going to put up a strong performance too and we are ready for all games and will take each one step by step.
How confident are you of winning this weekend?
When I took this job last January, I spent a lot of time to let my players understand my football system. Am confident that I will get some points or at least one point from this game, but if we win that will definitely see us qualify for the semi-finals. I can't say I will win, but I can say that we will do our best to win.
How are preparations for Sunday's match going?
Since my arrival in Sudan last January I observed that a number of Al-Meriekh players sat on bench for the national team, but in the last game against Ethiopia I saw six of my players in the starting line-up so this a good for us and it can help us this weekend. We are ready for this game .
What is the news from your medical team; do you have all your players available to play?
Amir Kamal and Raji Abdulaati are currently injured as is Al-Tahir Al-Haj who has however started light training. We do have plenty of the players like Badreldin Galag, Al-Shighel and Siad Mustafa to replace them.
What will be your approach for the game?
We have to fight all of my players must fight. It is a match of our lives at this stage and we go to Shandy City as group leaders but this does not mean our players will be relaxed for the game. We have to fight hard for a positive result and we want to and make it to the semi-finals. My team knows that we haven't yet qualified and so we will play with this in mind and perform as to get a result that takes us closer the semis.
What is result are you hoping for from this encounter?
I want to win, Al-Ahly Shandy also hopes to win but we will play to win any place and enywhere, any time. If we fail to win we hope it will be a draw which will still be good for us.