A win for the Cairo Red Devils away to Simba SC of Tanzania
— a side they have already caned 5-0 this month — would lift them to 10
points from four matches in Group D.
And that total will guarantee Ahly a last-eight slot unless
bottom-of-the-table JS Saoura of Algeria end a three-match winless run by
overcoming Congolese visitors V Club.
Recent African champions Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and
Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa can all but seal progress to the knockout
phase if they collect maximum points.
Wydad should have little difficulty defeating Lobi Stars of
Nigeria in Rabat having already done so in west Africa thanks to a Mohamed
Sundowns were far superior to ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory
Coast when winning 3-1 in Pretoria with Argentine debutant Emiliano Tade among
But Abidjan holds bitter memories for the Pretoria club with
their last visit ending in a humiliating 6-1 hiding from Africa Sports, the
great domestic rivals of ASEC.
Reigning African champions Esperance of Tunisia have thrown
away an advantage over Orlando Pirates of South Africa after bringing forward
the Tunis kick-off time by six hours.
Instead of a 2000 local time (1900 GMT) start and cold
conditions that Pirates believed could affect their performance, the visitors
can expect mild mid-afternoon weather.
Esperance will also lack support at Stade el Menzah with the
club serving the second half of a two-match ban over crowd trouble last season.
Should the co-leaders draw, as they did in a cagey Soweto
clash this month, Horoya of Guinea can climb from third place to first by
overcoming FC Platinum of Zimbabwe in Conakry.
The north Africans reacted to the debacle by claiming the
Congolese had drugged them by injecting substances into their food in
Five-time African champions Mazembe then pointed out that
Africain had chosen their hotel and brought food, water and a cook from
The Congolese said they expect “fair play” in
Rades, a plea they hope will be heeded by the often troublesome supporters of
Ahly banged five goals past Simba in Egypt despite lacking
nine potential first choices, including loanee Ramadan Sobhi from English
Premier League strugglers Huddersfield Town.
After successive five-goal beatings, Simba hope Meddie
Kagere and Clatous Chama can rediscover the form that delivered nine goals
between them earlier in the competition.
Saoura came from two goals down to hold V Club in an
intimidating Kinshasa fortress and maximum points at home against the Congolese
would throw open the race for second place.
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