African Opponent Update: Al-Merrikh Sporting Club

Mamelodi Sundowns are preparing for their second match of their CAF Champions League group stages against Al-Merrikh of Sudan in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday afternoon.

The Brazilians’ will face the Sudanese side at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo after the governing body concluded that their original home venue did not meet the new stringent hosting requirements.

Who are Al-Merrikh SC?

Al-Merrikh is known also as the “Red Devils” and play in the Sudanese first division. Al-Merrikh has won the Sudan Premier League 16 times and the Sudan Cup 14 times, making them one of the most successful clubs in their home country. The Red Devils’ home stadium is Al-Merrikh Stadium with a capacity of 43,000 with locals referring to their grounds as The Red Castle. The club was established in 1908 and is one of the oldest football clubs in Africa.

Al-Merrikh’s current form:

Al-Merrikh kicked off their Premier League campaign with two back-to-back wins, they recorded 3-0 against Hilal Al Sahili in their opening contests, followed by another 3-0 victory over Al Kharthoum three days later. The Red Devils will be looking to make an impression in this year’s group stages after falling at the bottom of group A last year – in their six encounters, Merrikh won no games and were considered the weakest in their group. 

Players to watch:

The Sudanese outfit will look to their striker Ramadan Agab to lead them in attack. The 32-years-old Sudan national team forward is a regular in the Red Devils’ starting eleven, he was amongst the goalscorers in their 2-2 draw against Al-Ahly last season.

Elsamani Saadeldin is not just a regular defender for Merrikh, but he also has a reputation of scoring goals. Saadeldin recently participated in the CAF Champions League, AFCON tournament and the Arab Club Champions Cup.

Mohamed Mustafa is a 25 Years old who plays as a goalkeeper for Al-Merrikh and the Sudan national football team. Mustafa recently played in the AFCON tournament in Cameroon for his national team Sudan and went on to finish third in their group.

Tony Edjomariegwe is a left winger who previously played for Moghreb Tétouan in Botola 2, a Moroccan second tier. Edjomariegwe has made four appearances in Merrikh’s campaign for the 2021/22 Champions League with two goals to his name.