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Wydad’s Head Coach expects ‘Difficult Game’ against Ighalo’s Al Hilal




Ahead of Wydad Athletic Club’s much-anticipated first game in the ongoing Club World Cup in Morocco, the head coach the Casablanca-based team said his squad  “will play for victory” in a what will be a “very difficult” game against Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal

Mehdi Nafti Wydad’s Tunisian head coach, made the statement during a recent practice session at the Mohammed VI Football Academy.

“We know it will be a difficult match. It’s a step up from our previous matches. But we will be ready…We will play for victory,” Nafti stressed. .

When asked about Wydad’s game plans for their match against Al Hilal, Nafti said that he “does not believe in a tactical plan,” but rather in “the players’ understanding and ability to follow instructions on the field.”

“In any case, we will set up the appropriate style of play based on our strengths and those of the opponent,” he explained.


“Al Hilal has very good players,” the head coach added, stressing that “they are familiar with their playing style and how they easily create scoring opportunities.”

But the Tunisian coach emphasized his belief in his players’ ability to rise to the challenge.  “We have a strong group. The selected players will undoubtedly give their all and are highly motivated.”

The game will see the participation of 23 players including Moroccan footballers Yahya Jabrane,  Aymane El Hassouni, Yahia Attiyat-Allah, and Senegalese footballer Bouly Sambou Junior.

For his part, Ramon Diaz, Manager of Al Hilal said, “This Saturday, two great continental champions will compete for a spot in the semi-finals.”

Diaz explained that playing in the World Club Championship is important for both the club and the players. “The Club World Cup matches are nothing like those of the local championship. It will be a tactical match that requires a lot of focus,” he said.


The game will kick off today at 3:30 pm GMT+1 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in the Moroccan capital Rabat.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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