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Football

Facts and Figures as Esperance, Al Ahly lock horns in Champions League final

CAF

Esperance will host Egyptian giants Al-Ahly in the first-leg of the final of TotalEnergies CAF Champions on Saturday.


The stakes are high as both teams vie for the title, with the Tunisian seeking to capitalize on their home advantage against the formidable Ahly side in Tunis.


Esperance will be eager to secure the first-leg victory against Ahly, while the Egyptian giants aim to assert their dominance before the return leg.

This clash sees a meeting between the two teams with the most CAF Champions League final appearances, with ES Tunis set to play in their eighth final and Al Ahly in their 14th. No other side has appeared in more than five.


Egyptian giants Al Ahly have appeared in the six of the last seven CAF Champions League finals, winning three of those (L3), including last season where they beat Moroccan side Wydad AC 3-2 on aggregate.


ES Tunis will be looking to win the competition for the first time since 2019, when they beat Wydad AC to secure a second consecutive title.


Al Ahly will be looking to make it 11 successes for Egyptian sides in the CAF Champions League final (more than twice as many as other nation) while ES Tunis can secure Tunisia their fifth success in the competition, which will be the outright second-most.


This will be the sixth meeting between Egyptian and Tunisian sides in the CAF Champions League final, with Egypt enjoying three victories to Tunisia’s two. The last two such meetings involved Al Ahly and ES Tunis (2012 and 2018) with one win apiece.


Al Ahly are unbeaten in their last 18 CAF Champions League games (W12 D6), the longest run without a loss in the history of the competition and one which stretches back to March 2023 when they were last beaten, 5-2, by Mamelodi Sundowns in the group stages.


Al Ahly have shipped just one goal on their way to the 2023-2024 CAF Champions League final (the fewest of any side), keeping nine clean sheets in the process (level with ES Tunis). The only other side to concede just one goal in a single edition of the competition was ES Tunis in 1999 (no team has ever conceded no goals).


Both these sides are looking to become the first team in CAF Champions League history to keep nine consecutive clean sheets, with ES Tunis facing 78 shots in total since last conceding a goal (v Al-Hilal Omdurman in December) and Al Ahly facing 106 shots since last conceding (v Young Africans in December).


ES Tunis midfielder Yan Sasse has been directly involved in four goals in the CAF Champions League this season (3 goals, 1 assist), a haul bettered by only one player (ASEC Mimosas’ Sankara Karamoko, 5).


Al Ahly goalkeeper Mostafa Shobeir has yet to concede a goal in the 2023-24 CAF Champions League, making a competition-high 28 saves and preventing 5.5 goals, another high.


ES Tunis defender Yassine Meriah has racked up a total of 165 carries in the CAF Champions League this season, 27 more than any other player, while in total, he has carried the ball 1631 metres, another competition-high in 2023-24.

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