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Preview of Saturday’s CAF Champions League Match Day 2 games

The 2018/2019 CAF Champions League group matches continue across Africa on Saturday with four must watch fixtures lined-up.

The 2018/2019 CAF Champions League group matches continue across Africa on Saturday with four must-watch fixtures lined-up.

AS Vita v Simba SC

Congolese giants AS Vita host Tanzanian side Simba Sports Club at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa in one of the most anticipated clash of the day.

This will be the second meet between the two East and Central African football heavyweights. In the past encounter, both sides drew 1-1 in a Kagame Cup match where Vita participated as the guest team.

In their opening Group D match, Vita suffered a 2-0 away to Al Ahly while Simba got their campaign up and running with a 3-0 thumping of JS Saoura in Dar es Salaam in what was their first group stage fixture in 15 years.

Simba’s gaffer Patrick Aussems is fancying a win for a perfect group start but agrees that at this point it is totally a different game.

“The team is well prepared for the game against AS Vita in Kinsasha, it will not be easy but we are well prepared for them, our aim is to have positive results away,” said Aussems in the build-up to the fixture.

For the Black Dolphins, their head coach Florent Ibenge has assured the club followers that his charges are ready to pick up themselves from last weekend loss.

“We had several problems during the match, we have five games remaining and we will work on resolving these issues,” Ibenge said.

Asec Mimosas v Lobi Stars

Ivorian side Asec Mimosas will take on visiting Lobis Stars of Nigeria in a Group A game that is set to take place at the Stade Félix Houphouet-Boigny in Ivory Coast’s biggest city, Abidjan.

Mimosas will be searching for their first set of points in the campaign after suffering a heavy 5-2 defeat to Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca away in their opening game.

On their side, Lobi will keen not to lose any point away in their maiden appearance at the group stages of the competition. Last weekend, they outplayed South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns, beating them 2-1 at home.

Solomon Ogbeide, the Technical Adviser of Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi, told reporters on Friday that his team was well prepared for the encounter but also admitted that it would indeed be a herculean task in Abidjan.

“We have been in a closed camp in Ijebu Ode since on Sunday, training very hard for the match in Abidjan and correcting the mistakes noticed in our first game against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.”

“As you are aware, there are no small teams in the group and we are still the underdogs because the other three teams, ASEC, Wydad, and Sundowns are past winners of the CAF Champions League.”

Mimosas, who are placed fourth in the group standings will need to avoid defeat in order to keep their hopes for a spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Constantine v TP Mazembe

Five times African champions Mazembe will be away in Algeria to face Constantine in a Group C match set to be played at the Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine.

With Mazembe having vast experience in this tournament, Constantine are trying to become a familiar side in Africa having not lost any of their games this season.

Indeed, the Algerians have not conceded a goal in their five qualifying and group outings, thanks to outstanding goalkeeping by Chamseddine Rahmani.

For Mazembe, they will need to do much to convince the fans that they are ready to challenge for the trophy by winning against a strong North African opposition.

Mamelodi Sundowns v Wydad AC

South African side Mamelodi Sundowns will look to bounce back into Group A after a 2-1 defeat to Nigerian club Lobi Stars away from home last week when they host Wydad Casablanca at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The Brazilians are always targeted by teams who are determined to beat them and will need to have a strong response as they are currently facing a tough fixture list.

Wydad, meanwhile, got their group stage off to a flying start as they defeated Ivorian giants ASEC Mimosas 5-2 in Morocco.

Sundowns and Wydad have played severally against each other in the last few years n the CAF Competitions, with the latest being in 2018 in Tshwane with the game ending 1-1 and the return in Casablanca going 1-0 in favor of the hosts.

Nonetheless, the Brazilians’ coach Pitso Mosimane has predicted that in tonight’s game the Moroccan will likely employ defensive tactics but his charges are ready to go for a win.

“They’re smart, you must remember I am in Morocco all the time and I’m with the coaches here. They are not going to come here and try and show us if they can beat us, no, they know, if you get a point, it’s done,” Mosimane said in an interview with Sport24.

“They know when we get there, they put seventy thousand people there, I think each and every 10-12 square metre there is a big drum, we have one or two here, there’s a big drum and they hit it and that’s where the stress and that’s where pressure comes, it’s a sea of red, pressure on us, pressure on the referees and it becomes difficult.”

“But, we make it also tight for them, we play the same way they play so if they beat us it will be 1-0, or sometimes it’s a draw, so, it’s like that, it’s Champions League.”

Wydad are in top form in their domestic league as they currently top the standings. Coach Faouzi Benzarti expressed confidence about his side, telling Radio Mars: “Sometimes, the team goes through bad passages but still manages to deliver outstanding performances.”

The game in Tshwane will be refereed by Angolan Helder Martins de Carvalho.

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