x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Asian Champions League: Al Nasr's Walter Zenga is very familiar with Iranian foes Sepahan

Al Nasr coach keen to improve his record against familiar foes Sepahan of Iran, reports John McAuley.

Al Nasr's coach Walter Zenga has faced Sepahan of Iran before while he was coaching Al Ain.
Al Nasr's coach Walter Zenga has faced Sepahan of Iran before while he was coaching Al Ain.

DUBAI //Walter Zenga, the Al Nasr coach, joked that he has faced Iranian side Sepahan so many times in his career that he may as well manage them.

The Italian entertains his familiar foes on Tuesday night in the Asian Champions League, although, with Nasr rooted to the bottom of Group C and yet to register a point, he could be forgiven for displaying a certain insouciance.

However, it would be dangerous to mistake his mood for defeatism.

"For us the match is very important because it's an international match, a Champions League match, and we must play with the right intensity and concentration to try to get the three points," said Zenga, who in three matches against Sepahan as Nasr coach has never taken a point.

He also faced them during his time in charge of Al Ain.

"My only regret from this season's Champions League is of all the games we've lost, the only one we deserved to was against Sepahan [in February's 3-0 defeat].

"So now we want to show them we can play on the same level as them."

Despite not being able to progress, Nasr are expected this evening to field a strong line-up, particularly with Leonardo Lima available again after suspension and Giuseppe Mascara recovered from injury.

 

jmcauley@thenational.ae

 

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