AfricanFootball previews the CAF Champions League’s weekend action

AfricanFootball previews the CAF Champions League’s weekend action
epa05398148 Etoile Sahel's player Bangoura Al khaly (C) in action against Fath Union player Nayef Aguerd (R) during the CAF Champions League group stage, between Etoile Sahel and Fath Union at Stade Olympique de Sousse, Tunisia, 29 June 2016 EPA/STR

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Sep 15, 2017. 10:00

AfricanFootball looks ahead to the resumption of the CAF Champions League, which will feature four quarterfinal, first leg matches played across the continent.

The action gets underway on Saturday afternoon at Estadio do Ferroviario in Beira, Mozambique, where the host team Ferroviario will be looking to make the most of home advantage against Algerian giants USM Alger.

The Mozambican side did superbly to finish above the Sudanese pair of Al Merrikh and Al Hilal in the group stage, but they face a tough task in trying to overcoming their North African opponents.

The most anticipated tie of the quarterfinals pits eight-time champions Al Ahly up against Tunisian heavyweights Esperance, with their first leg set for the Borg El Arab Stadium outside of Alexandria on Saturday evening.

The Egyptians were ever so lucky to edge out Zanaco to the final qualifying berth in their group, but they remain a team with immense pedigree and will always be one of the favourites if they are present at the sharp end of the competition.

Reigning African champions Mamelodi Sundowns will continue the defence of their crown when they host Wydad Casablanca at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Tshwane on Sunday afternoon.

Pitso Mosimane’s side will have to overcome a lengthy injury list as they look to improve on their home form (they didn’t win any of the three matches they hosted in the group stage) against a Wydad side which not only topped their group but also secured the Moroccan top flight championship.

Finally, the weekend’s Champions League matches wrap up with Libya’s Al Ahly Tripoli hosting Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel at the Borg El Arab Stadium. Tripoli cannot host true ‘home’ matches due to the continuing political instability in their home country, but it hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of Africa’s toughest teams.

CAF Champions League quarterfinal fixtures
First leg matches, all times CAT

Saturday 16 September
Ferroviario Beira v USM Alger - 15h00
Al Ahly v Esperance Tunis - 19h00

Sunday 17 September
Mamelodi Sundowns v Wydad Casablanca - 15h00
Al Ahly Tripoli v Etoile Sahel - 20h00

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