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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 9, 2006

Sfax coach hopes players will not be overawed

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 9 (Reuters) - CS Sfaxien coach Mrad Mahjoub says he hopes his players will not be overawed by the growing burden of expectation ahead of Saturday's African Champions League final.

The veteran coach, who has taken his unfancied provincial side to a first-ever Champions League final appearance, says the psychological attitude of his side will be as important as their physical reserves when they take on Al Ahli of Egypt.

The two clubs meet in the second leg of the final at Rades, on the outskirts of the Tunisian capital, after Sfaxien forced an unexpected 1-1 draw in the first leg in Cairo on Oct. 29.

'I hope that my players show their true value and realise their potential without being overawed by the occasion,' he told Tunisia's state-run La Presse newspaper on Thursday.

'The psychological side will be a determining factor,' he added.

Sfax have moved the match from their tiny home ground to Rades, where 52,000 tickets have been sold.

Sfaxien, who were given little chance at the start of the group phase of the competition in July, are likely to start the match with three strikers, Mahjoub said.

Ghana international Joetex Frimpong returns after missing league action last week to team up with Tarak Ziadi and Abdelkrim Nafti.

But the coach did not reveal who would replace Wissem El Abdi in the center of defence for Saturday's game. El Abdi is suspended after picking up a second caution in three matches in the first leg of the final.

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