Ahly top table ahead of Downs clash

In the build-up to the second leg, the eight-time African champions have pulled out every stop in an attempt to achieve the impossible of overturning a five-goal deficit from last weeks' massacre in Tshwane.

READ: 'Al Ahly in a state of panic'

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has allowed the Egyptian giants to move the return leg from the Egyptian Army Stadium in Suez to the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, 350km from the nation's capital.

In a clear attempt to destabilise the preparation of Masandawana, The Red Devils have also reached an agreement with the Egyptian Football Federation (EFA) to allow 30 000 fans into the 86 000-seater arena despite the current restrictions due to the infamous Arab Spring uprising in 2011.

READ: Egyptian fans respect Sundowns

However, amidst all the chaos, the Club of the Century remain positive of achieving what would be considered a miracle comeback, after they moved to the summit of the Presentation Premier League this week.

Their 2-1 win over Masr El-Makasa, along with Zamalek's surprise defeat against Al Masry on Thursday, has lifted Martin Lasarte's men into first place, one point ahead of Pyramids FC and their fierce rivals.

Masandawana, who will start the game as overwhelming favourites to progress to the semifinals after the squad enjoyed a break from Absa Premiership action this week, could put the final nail in the coffin for Lasarte, according to former KingFut reporter Ahmed Osman.

"The backlash has been immense in the media, I've never seen anything quite like it towards an Al Ahly manager for quite some time," he tells KickOff.com.

"He's come out, he's apologised but they [supporters] are not having it at all and want him out as soon as possible because it was their worst loss in African football history, so you can imagine the shock and dismay it's caused.

"He attempted to go out [in Tshwane] and attack from the off, whereas most pundits and ex-players in Egypt were suggesting a defensive approach in the opening half and try and hit on the counter when the game opens up.

"He's shown the same type of tactics in the league since his arrival and he has to probably win the Champions League in order to keep his job - the league won't be enough."

The headline encounter on Saturday, 13 April 18h00 (SAST) will be refereed by Gambian Bakary Gassama, one of Africa's most respected officials.

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