Former Egypt national team assistant manager, Roger De Sa, believes Mamelodi Sundowns will be too strong for Al Ahly on Saturday, and that Percy Tau’s size is the only factor holding him back.
ThisIsFootball.Africa caught up with the former Orlando Pirates coach to talk about the big Caf Champions League game.
De Sa recently signed for the next three and a half years with the Qatar national team that recently hosted the FIFA World Cup. The former Wits mentor will fulfil the same role he did with both Egypt and Iran. Former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Queiroz was unveiled as the new manager of Qatar earlier this month, so he and De Sa will now plot the next four years for their national team.
“I personally think Mamelodi Sundowns will be too strong for Al Ahly at this moment,” Roger De Sa told ThisIsFootball.Africa
“I believe Sundowns have assembled a team, actually I think they’ve put together three teams that are very competitive in Africa. I don’t think Al Ahly are at their best either, with Sundowns playing especially at home, I think Downs will be too strong.”
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The former Bidvest Wits, Ajax Cape Town and Maritzburg United head coach first worked with Queiroz as goalkeeper coach when the Portuguese mentor was in charge of Bafana Bafana 20 years ago.
De Sa finally discussed whether South African forward Percy Tau would be a threat to the Brazilians.
“On the Percy Tau issue, I think he is a great player, I think he could play in most leagues in the world, physically the only thing holding him back is his size but I think in African football and the way he plays, he is so clever around the pitch and especially in the final third,” he said.
“Percy can make a difference in any team, he plays an important part at Al Ahly and he is also gonna be one of the players that would pose the most threat. Does Percy have the team to back him? I’m not too sure. But it’s someone that Masandawana must watch.”
De Sa also got involved with the Portugal national team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup under Queiroz. He discussed the free role of Tau under Al Ahly head coach Marcel Koller.
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“His new role, having a free role is okay for him because he is intelligent enough to pull it off. I remember him playing on the wing as a youngster, he was just as good.
“He has obviously grown and can adapt to any role. He has got the football knowledge to do well back home today. My prediction is Sundowns will win it, especially with Al Ahly having to open up and get a result, I think because of this and their squad, they will definitely win the game. Because Ahly have to come out and win and that is not their strength.”
Mamelodi Sundowns entertain Al Ahly at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday, March 11.