defending champs favourites to edge platinum

11:31    18 Jan 2019

Esperance Sportive de Tunis player ( Front ) fights for the ball with Saint George S.C. player Mentsenot Adane Umema during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between Esperance and Saint George Tunis, Tunisia on 9 July 2017 © BackpagePix
Esperance de Tunis will be favourites to claim all three points when they welcome FC Platinum to Stade El Menzah in Tunis on Friday afternoon in a Caf Champions League Group B encounter.

Kick-off is at 15h00 CAT.

The defending champions welcome the Zimbabwean champions in round two of the group stages in a game that will take place behind closed doors, as punishment for Esperance fans' attacking the Al Ahly team bus in the return leg of last year's final.

Esperance lifted the crown following a 4-3 aggregate win over their North African counterparts, having thumped their opponents 3-0 in the second-leg.

The continent's governing body ordered Esperance to play both this weekend and their upcoming home match against Orlando Pirates, without any supporters in attendance.

FC Platinum got their campaign up and running with a goalless draw at home to the Buccaneers.

Veteran forward Mkhokheli Dube is wary of the challenge ahead, but is confident the Zimbabweans can cause an upset in Tunis.

“We came here with a lot of respect for our opponents being the holders of the cup, but when it comes to the field of play, it will be a different ball game altogether," said Dube at the pre-match presser.

"We know what we are here for and that is a positive result to take back home."

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