Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FC Platinum will bank on their Champions League experience when they take on 2007 African champions Etoile Du Sahel in their Group B match at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
The two teams are coming into today’s match on the back of contrasting opening round results where the hosts fell 1-2 away to Sudanese side AL Hilal while their opponents defeated record Champions League winners Ahl Ahly 1-0 in Tunisia on Friday last week.
“We are now competing for the second time in this stage of the competition having competed for the first time last season and every player now knows what is expected of them, that experience will come in handy,” said FC Platinum coach Lizwe Sweswe.
He reiterated that he wasn’t moved by their opponents’ stature.
“On paper they might be highly rated but football has changed a lot over the past years and we have learnt a lot in previous games. What is important is how we play not how our opponents play, yes we have some knowledge about them and have prepared for their approach but we are not going to let that derail us from our own style of play. What is key is that we concentrate on our own game plan and as a coach I believe in attacking football,” said Sweswe who employed an offensive approach in Khartoum last Friday which had his players been more alert in defence and attack, could have seen them cause a huge shocker.
He said he was aware of the height advantage that their opponents possess compared to his boys and hence they have to avoid giving away unnecessary set pieces including corner kicks.
A very confident Etoile Du Sahel coach Juan Carlos Garrido said they are in Bulawayo for nothing but maximum points this afternoon.
“We are a very big and top club in Africa and victory is always key to us and we want to get that tomorrow. We are here to work and have a very good game, we are looking forward to getting maximum points because our supporters always demand that, so we always play to win,” said Garrido.
The visitors, who arrived at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport via a chartered military plane on Thursday, had their final training session at the match venue yesterday afternoon.