Esperance player Chamam Khalil (C) fights for the ball with Mamelodi Sundowns player Hlompho Kekana (R) and Anthony Laffor (L) during the 2017 CAF Champions League game between Esperance and Mamelodi Sundowns at Stade Olympique In Tunis, Tunisia on 21 June 2017 © BackpagePix
Friday Jul 07, 2017. 10:00
AfricanFootball previews the final round of group stage matches in the 2017 CAF Champions League, which will see teams battling for the five remaining places in the quarterfinals.
Title holders Mamelodi Sundowns and the Tunisian pair of Etoile Sahel and Esperance Tunis are the only three teams headed into Matchday 6 knowing that they are safely through the next round.
Etoile wrap up their Group A campaign with a clash against Sundan’s Al Merrikh on Friday evening, at the same time that Mozambique’s Ferroviario Beira tackle already eliminated Al Hilal in Omdurman. Beira must win their clash in Sudan and hope that Etoile don’t lose to Merrikh if they are to leapfrog into the top two.
Saturday evening sees two thrilling matches in Alexandria and Casablanca, as Al Ahly host already eliminated Coton Sport and Wydad tackle Zanaco respectively.
The Red Devils find themselves in danger of early elimination but a win against Coton will guarantee progression at the expense of either Wydad or Zanaco, who battle for top spot in Morocco.
Sunday’s first pair of games sees Group C wrapped up, but the only real interest is whether Esperance Tunis (who host Saint George) or Mamelodi Sundowns (who host AS Vita) finish at the top of the group - they have nine and eight points respectively, and both are safely qualified.
The weekend’s matches are completed by a pair of Group B clashes, with all four teams still in the running to qualify. Leaders USM Alger host Zimbabwe’s CAPS United, while Zamalek must win at home to Al Ahli Tripoli to have any hope of advancing.
CAF Champions League, Matchday 6 fixtures
All times CAT
Friday 7 July
Group A - Al Hilal v Ferroviario Beira - 19h00
Group A - Etoile Sahel v Al Merrikh - 19h00
Saturday 8 July
Group D - Al Ahly v Coton Sport - 21h00
Group D - Wydad Casablanca v Zanaco - 21h00
Sunday 9 July
Group C - Esperance Tunis v Saint George - 19h00
Group C - Mamelodi Sundowns v AS Vita - 19h00
Group B - USM Alger v CAPS United - 21h00
Group B - Zamalek v Al Ahli Tripoli - 21h00