Connect with us


Preview: African Champions League Group Stage

The 2019/2020 African Champions League group phase kicks-off this weekend with several continental giants in action on Friday and Saturday.

The 2019/2020 African Champions League group phase kicks-off this weekend with several continental giants in action on Friday and Saturday.

Esperance de Tunis will kick-off their title defence with a trip to Morocco where they will face Raja Casablanca in one of the tantalizing matchups on Saturday.

Another clash sees former champions DR Congo’s TP Mazembe welcome Egyptian giants Zamalek at the newly refurbished Mazembe Stadium in Lubumbashi.

Ducor Sports previews matchday one encounters in the top tier African club competition.

Group A

Arguably the toughest and trickiest group of the four mini-leagues, this group comprises of teams from North, Central and Southern Africa. Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto and their rivals Zesco United are pitted in the group alongside two continental heavyweights TP Mazembe and Zamalek.

The opening two matches of the group will be played on Saturday- in Lubumbashi, TP Mazembe will begin the search of the first set of points when they welcome five times continental champions Zamalek in one of the most anticipated clashes of the day.

The meet will be the seventh in the CAF Champions League between the two heavyweights of African interclub football.

In the past six meets, Mazembe emerged victorious three times compared to Zamalek’s lone victory, which the White Knights registered way back when they won 2002 title, while the other two matches ended in stalemates.

In another sumptuous battle, Zambia’s Zesco United and Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto will face off at Estadio 11 de Novembro in Luanda.

The two have been labelled the group’s underdogs and will be out to swing surprises as they learn the ropes.

Group B

Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel take on visiting Al Ahly of Egypt at the Stade Olympique de Sousse in Sousse, Friday.

The Red Devils, who hammered Gouna 4-0 in the fifth round of the Egyptian Premier League, travelled to Tunisia with the same squad list, where they will be reuniting with former manager Juan Carlos Garrido, who was recently appointed as Etoile’s new manager.

Al Ahly are currently under Rene Weiler, who has not made any changes to his side that won two consecutive matches in their domestic league.

Etolie head into the clash at the back of two draws in Tunisia Ligue 1 and are expected to be without three of their senior players, Zied Boughattas, Iheb Msakni and Mortanda Ben Ouannes.

In another Group B battle Zimbabwean giants FC Platinum will kick-start their group campaign away against Omdruman Al Hilal of Sudan on Friday afternoon.

Group C

Troubled Algerian side USM Alger will be at home to welcome fellow North Africans Wydad Casablanca at Stade de 5 Julliet.

The Algerian giants are said to be close to bankruptcy following the jailing of club owner Ali Haddad in June and the club has on a number of occasions threatened to withdraw from the Champions League.

But Wydad are not expected to reading much into USM Alger’s reported financial woes that have seen players reportedly protesting in recent weeks, as they will be expecting to get far in this completion.

2016 African Champions Mamelodi Sundowns host Petro Atletico from Angola in the other match in the pool on the same evening.

Group D

Morocco’s Raja Casablanca have a tough start to their Group D campaign on Saturday when they welcome defending champions, Esperance de Tunis at the Stade Mohammed Stadium on Saturday night.

That should be a home win, but the way Raja have hyped the game by even opposing appointments of the match referees nothing can be taken for granted.

The other match of the pool will see JS Kabilye of Algeria welcome AS Vita from DR Congo on Friday.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Football

Translate »