Ahly's coach turned up the heat on Saturday's game after training
Egypt's Al Ahly have ratcheted up the tension ahead of their Club World Cup opener, accusing their opponents, Pachuca, of sending spies to their training camp.
Ahly's coach Manuel Jose angrily pointed the finger of blame at his Mexican counterparts after the African champions' training session on Friday.
"Three spies from Pachuca came to inspect our practice today," he said.
"It's not fair. We didn't watch their practice. It's not fair."
Jose also stressed the importance of his team achieving a good result in their opening game.
"[Saturday's] game is the same as the final for Al Ahly and Pachuca," he said.
"The losers will go to a playoff for fifth and sixth places. It's a very important game."
Pachuca change their tactics quite often and they also want to have a better result than they did last year, but I think we are more comfortable, because we know each other very well
Al Ahly coach Manuel Jose
The Portuguese-born coach also stressed how difficult it is for teams outside of Europe and South America to advance in the competition.
Those comments come just days after he said his side were only aiming for third place in the competition.
"For the European and South American clubs, they just go to a third-place play-off even if they lose.
"They can reach the final by winning only one game.
"Anyway, we just go into the match thinking it's the final," he said.
Ahly finished third in their last outing in 2006 when they beat Club America 2-1 in a play-off, and will be aiming to go one better than last year's African representatives, Etoile du Sahel, who finished fourth.
"America were also a good team, but their style is different from Pachuca.
"Fortunately, we won that game. We played better then. Our opponents are different tomorrow," said Jose.
We believe in revenge. We will fight this match in front of us as if it was a final
Pachuca striker Bruno Marioni
"Pachuca change their tactics quite often and they also want to have a better result than they did last year, but I think we are more comfortable, because we know each other very well and we have the same 3-5-2 formation."
Pachuca have not yet responded to Jose's spying accusations, focusing instead on gaining "revenge" after losing to Etoile last year.
"We believe in revenge," Pachuca's Argentine striker Bruno Marioni said.
"We are thinking about playing in a final against Manchester United.
"For now, we will fight this match in front of us as if it was a final."
"Honestly, we feel we lost for no reasons last year," Pachuca coach Enrique Meza added.
"We aim to take the first match this year, as a matter of course, and go still higher - up to the top spot."
The winners face South American champions Liga de Quito (LDU) of Ecuador in the semi-finals on Wednesday, with the victors in that tie progressing to likely meet Manchester United in the final.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.