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CAF club competitions to be staged midweek as group stage looms
This year’s CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup fixtures will be staged in the middle of the week for the first time ever.
Egypt, Tunisia and DRC sides will be looking to book their customary CAF Champions League group stage spots. The latter two have more work at hand after unfavourable results from the Second round first leg matches.
Etoile Sahel will need to record a historic comeback, against Enyimba, after losing 3-0 in Nigeria. DRC’s Vita Club has to maintain an undefeated streak against South African sides to reach the last eight. Their opponents are Mamelodi Sundowns. Despite losing the first leg, there’s confidence the ‘Brazilians’ great domestic form will see them edge past Vita Club at home.
Another of DRC’s teams is the defending champions, TP Mazembe. They trail 2-0 to Wydad Casablanca. Mazembe have struggled to replace Mbwana Samatta. The Congolese side needed a late penalty to knockout Ethiopia’s St. Georges in the previous round. Nevertheless, their home form is formidable and should cause headache for Wydad.
Cairo duo Al Ahly and Zamalek are favourites to return to the group stages. With fan backing, Al Ahly is expected to, do better and, beat Young Africans at home to advance. Things are not straightforward for Zamalek; who head to Algeria with a two goal lead against MO Bejaia. Their hosts have overturned first leg defeats in the prior rounds.
Two of the three from 2015’s group stage do battle. One of Al Merrikh and ES Setif has to pave way in a match finely poised at 2-2. ZESCO United is all but through for a second appearance. They hold a 3-1 lead from Mali; against Stade Malien. Libya’s Al Ahli Tripoli cannot count on home advantage to overturn a two goal deficit away to ASEC Mimosas.
CAF Confederation Cup
ENPPI host CF Mounana with Khaled Metwaly in charge as interim coach. Sedky was sacked following a spate of poor results that include a 2-0 away loss to Mounana. On the other hand, Misr El-Maqassa has a chance to continue their continental adventure when they face Constantine. The Egyptians only suffered a narrow loss in Algeria.
Moroccan relegation candidates Kawkab Marrakech can salvage their season by knocking out MC Oran. Their counterparts, FUS Rabat play the second leg as a formality after hitting Uganda’s SC Villa for seven. Stade Gabesien against Zanaco is up for either side after they drew 1-1 in Zambia.
Tanzanian money-club, Azam FC can shock the continent by knocking out Esperance Tunis. Azam beat Esperance at home but still have it set up against them.
In the other matches, Ghana’s Medeama are slight favourites to edge Al Ahly Shendy. Sagrada Esperanca should knockout Vita Club Mokanda after winning the first leg away from home.