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Algiers eye Zamalek, Yanga tie

The Whites host the Tanzanian champions in the round of 64 second leg in a fortnight, with uncertainty surrounding the venue amid the current security unrest in Egypt.

“We hope to learn soon about the security situation and whether the authorities will allow us to stage the game at home or not,” Zamalek spokesman Ali Aboul-Naga told FilGoal.com.

“In case security forces rejected staging the game in Egypt, we could play in either Algeria or Sudan.” Zamalek received proposals from Algeria's ES Setif and Sudan's Hilal to host the game as the Cairo giants are favourites to go through following their 1-1 away draw on Saturday.

Arab Contractors Stadium was initially set as the host venue for the return game, but the recent cancellation of Egypt's home friendlies with Uganda and Kenya suggested that playing competitive matches in the country is unlikely in the meantime. Meanwhile Yanga may be getting a massive boost to their line-up with the probable return to action of five key players who have been on the sideline through injuries.  

The players include first-choice goalkeeper Yaw Berko, midfielders Godfrey Bonny, Nurdin Bakari and Rashid Gumbo as well as defender-cum-midfielder Salum Telela.   “The players who were out injured are all doing well at the moment and on their way back to first team action,” Yanga physician Nassoro Matuzya told the ‘Daily News’.  

Dr Matuzya said the team’s Ghanaian custodian, Berko, has started light training after shaking off a niggling shoulder injury and should be fit for coming international and domestic assignments. The versatile Bakari has been out of action with a broken finger late last month and was expected to be sidelined for up to five weeks.  

Matuzya said Bakari has made steady progress in his recovery; the Plaster of Paris was removed from his hand, and is set to return to training.   According to the physician, Bonny had been suffering from Malaria and muscles problems, but he’s okay now, so are Gumbo and Telela who were nursing knee and ankle injuries respectively.   

“Gumbo has recovered well and we expect him to start first team training anytime from now,” he said. As for Telela, Dr Matuzya said, “Hopefully he will be back training by this Friday.” Yanga head coach Kostadin Papic can now breathe easy with the latest news as he prepares his team for the second leg of the CAF Champions League against Egyptian giants Zamalek early next month.

Yanga missed the services of the quintet when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Zamalek in the first leg match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam last Saturday. Getting the players fit, particularly the eagle-eyed Ghanaian shot-stopper, Yaw Berko, for the coming few weeks, might well determine Yanga’s fate in the Champions League and their chances of retaining Premier League title. 

MAINLAND side, Kilimanjaro Stars labored to secure ticket ...

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter/Agencies

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