Ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup Group A match against SuperSport United, USM Alger captain Belaid Zineddine says they know how to handle the defending champions tag.
The Algerian side won the tournament last season and went on to win the African Super Cup while enjoying a good start to the defence of their title.
The defending champions are currently leading Group A with three points from their group opener and face United in Polokwane on Sunday afternoon (15:00) in their second group match.
The centre-back said in a pre-match press conference that the side is aware of the expectations on their shoulders and can carry them well.
“A lot of teams will be expecting something from us because obviously as you said we are the defending champions,” said Zineddine.
“But we have experience of playing in Africa so we know how to handle it. We know to handle it everyone is expecting us but we have won and we know how to handle it”
The 24-year-old added that playing in a quieter stadium than they are used to won’t be a challenge for his side.
“Usually the most difficult games are when there are spectators. When there are no spectators I don’t think it should be a difficult game because the pressure is when there are spectators. So we should be going there and doing what we have to do”
Meanwhile, his coach Juan Carlos Garrido says they will play to win a clash he feels could be defining in their group.
“We are in a very tough competition, very difficult competition and a few games and every game is essential. Of course, this is a key match and we know that getting qualification is always very difficult and in every game, every point is very important.
“So tomorrow is a chance for us to get points, to get the qualification and we know how difficult the mission is.”