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Wydad Casablanca’s Benzarti wary of different Kaizer Chiefs in Caf Champions League semi-finals

The veteran Tunisian coach is wary of viewing the Soweto giants as pushovers ahead of Saturday’s encounter

Wydad Casablanca coach Faouzi Benzarti has emphasised on the “need to be at our best” as he readies for a match different from when they met Kaizer Chiefs in the Champions League group stage. 

Chiefs and Wydad clash in the Champions League semi-finals, first leg at Stade Mohamed V in what would be the two sides’ third clash this season.  

After the Moroccans beat Chiefs 4-0 in Ouagadougou in February, Amakhosi earned a 1-0 win at FNB Stadium. 

But with the Soweto giants having recently appointed Stuart Baxter as coach following the sacking of Gavin Hunt, Benzarti feels Amakhosi could be a different opponent.  

“This match will be quite different from the group stage match,” said Benzarti as per iDiski TV. 

“Every team that reaches the last four of the Champions League is a good team. We need to be at our best tomorrow [Saturday]. We need to score and to avoid conceding a goal. A lot of changes happened to Kaizer Chiefs [since the group stage], so we need to be at our best.” 

Returning Chiefs coach Baxter will be directing proceedings from the stands as he awaits his South African work permit, while Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard will be on the bench. 

The Chiefs coaches face a veteran tactician Benzarti who is a 1994 Champions League winner with Esperance and has had four stints as Tunisia coach. 

Otherwise, Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande feels they have experienced players who can help them subdue their much-fancied opponents. 

“All we want is to keep on making history for this brand,” Katsande told Chiefs media. 

“Reaching the semi-finals of Champions League with Kaizer Chiefs is a huge milestone and not only talking about the semi-final, we’re talking about qualifying for the group stages. As you know that we haven’t reached beyond the first round.  

“This season, we managed to get to the group stages, it was history on its own, for the club, for us as players.  And going to quarter-finals was also a plus to the group, and to the biggest brand, Kaizer Chiefs, also to put it up there in Africa, to say that we can also compete. 

“Here we are now, we are in the semi-final, and it is a huge game for us. And we’ve got so many internationals in the team, whereby we’re going to execute our game plan and try to go all the way and go to the final.”

“All we want is to keep on making history for this brand.”



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