Group B contains two former winners in Wydad Casablanca and Asec Mimosas alongside the rising Simba SC and the minnows Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana.
Wydad has been in the last two finals of the CAF Champions League having lost one and won one. Adil Ramzi’s Red Devils lost 2-0 in the African Super League finals in the second leg having in the first leg won 2-1 against Mamelodi Sundowns hence finishing as runner-up.
Wydad looks very different and sharper this season compared to last season with Skipper Yaya Jabrane, Attiyat Allah, Ayoub El Amloud, Zakaria Draoui, Amine Farhane, Arsene Zola and El Motie all around.
The Casablanca-based club is among the top three favourite teams to win this year’s edition having gained immense experience as they prepare to participate in their 9th consecutive CAF Champions League season money zone.
Simba SC sacked Robertinho, the Brazillian gaffer in the wake of their 5-1 mauling by their eternal rivals Young Africans in the feisty local derby a couple of weeks ago. They are the only managerless team among the 16 teams in the CCL with rumours linking them to many top managers.
This will be the 5th time the Lunyasi is playing in the money zone of the CCL. They kick off their campaign on Saturday with a fixture against Asec Abidjan.
Asec Mimosas, the team with the most appearances from the WAFU zone qualified for their 12th money zone appearance with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Al Ahly Benghazi. The Mimos will fancy their chance to make it to the knockout stage as in the group, apart from Wydad, Simba and Jwaneng Galaxy aren’t much better than them. The 1998 winners have missed the competition since making the group stage appearance of the 2018-2019 season.
Jwaneng Galaxy, managed by Morena Ramoreboli, the 42-year-old South African gaffer, will play their first game at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca against the Moroccan giants, Wydad Athletic. They made their debut in the money zone in the 2021-22 season and finished at the bottom of their group after losing 5 matches and drawing one.
The Botswana club will be eager to better their maiden edition’s shambolic record but have a huge task ahead as they embark on an impossible journey.
Teams to qualify
Wydad Casablanca and Simba SC