Esperance will in all likelihood put most of their faith in the 30-year-old midfielder, Hocine Ragued, when they host Orlando Pirates in their second leg Caf Champions league semi-final clash on Saturday.
The Tunisian international defensive midfielder has been highly impressive in terms of covering all areas of the field and getting involved both defensively as well as offensively.
The former Paris Saint-Germain player made the second most interceptions in Esperance’s first leg tie against Pirates, second only to defender Chamseddine Dhaouaidi, who made an impressive 21 interceptions.
The statistic which stands out above all others is how quickly Ragued turned his game from defence to attack. Not only did Ragued excel at keeping Bucs at bay with his interceptions, he made nine penalty area entries, which made him one of Esperance’s primary supply lines.
Just ahead of Ragued in the attacking stats was 22-year-old Moez Beu Chrifia, who supplied most of Esperance’s penalty area entries against Bucs in the first leg match. Chrifia played 10 balls into Bucs’ penalty area, which means he could be the major attacking force behind Esperance’s charges.
By: Julian Bailey
Follow Julian on Twitter: @kwetsa_89