Berekum Chelsea take one big step into Cairo this weekend, seeking to rescue an otherwise promising CAF Champions League debut campaign, as the competition reaches the penultimate round in Group B on Sunday.
The Ghanaian side have a date with Egypt’s out-of-contention Zamalek in the reverse fixture of their group game at an empty national stadium in Cairo where Chelsea’s fate in the competition could be sealed.
Chelsea need a favourable result on Sunday to be sure of upstaging second-placed TP Mazembe as the pair chase the second qualifying slot after Al Ahly booked the first semi-finals ticket.
But what started as dream debut for the Ghanaian side has suddenly been dogged by uncertainty following a 4-1 thrashing by Al Ahly in Cairo before a 1-1 draw with the same side in Accra.
The two results threw Chelsea’s campaign off gear somehow as TP Mazembe achieved a double win over Zamalek in Cairo.
Zamalek are the whipping boys of the group as they await still chase their first point in the competition, but their wounded pride could provide its own motivation for Sunday’s tie.
Indeed, as Africa’s most decorated side after compatriots Al Ahly, Zamalek have slumped from the group’s big favourites to uninspiring quantity.
Their mediocre form could favour Chelsea striker and the competition’s top scorer so far, Emmanuel Clottey, to add to his 12-goal tally, having already struck a hat-trick against the same side in the opening fixture between the sides in Accra.
And as Chelsea leave Accra tomorrow, the contingent seem very conscious of their date with destiny in Cairo – an opportunity to revive their continental title hopes.