Esperance de Tunis
Petro du Luanda
Etoile du Sahel
Group C of the 2023-24 CCL is the group of the death. Yeah! It is a group that encompasses Tunisian giants Esperance and Etoile du Sahel alongside Angolan side Petro de Luanda and Al Hilal of Sudan.
The group will be fiercely contested as all four teams are very strong and can also qualify for the quarter-finals. A hugely competitive Tunisian derby will be played at 1 pm at the Stade Olympique Hammadi Agrebi in Rhades on Saturday.
Esperance, four times winners of the CCL was eliminated by Wydad in the just-ended African Football League in the semi-finals. With 21 appearances in the group stages since its inception in 1997, the Elder of Tunisian Clubs along with Ahly has the most appearances.
Tarek Thabet, 52, has made the Esperance faithful dream again as they are playing wonderful football. On top of Group B of the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 with a game in hand having won 6 and drawn 1 in 7 games, Esperance is the favourite to top Group B.
Brazillian stars; Rodrigo Rodrigues and Yan Sasse alongside the experienced Ben Cherifia, Yassine Meriah and Amine Tougai are good players who can harm anyone on any day.
Etoile du Sahel, 2007 winners will make their 11th appearance in the CAF Champions League money zone. The champions of the Tunisian top flight in the 2022-23 season will visit their rivals on Saturday to begin their journey. Imen Ben Younes’ L’Etoile defeated Moroccan Champions ASFAR home and away to qualify for the group stages. It shows how formidable they are.
Portuguese manager, Alexandre Santos, 47, will face a group full of grade-A teams on the continent. The Angolans will play their 5th straight group stage of the CCL having qualified for the semi-finals on two occasions.
Al Hilal nearly stole a place in the quarter-finals last season in a group with eventual winners Al Ahly and South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns. Florent Ibenge, 61, knows all that it takes to win games at this level. The Congolese manager is one of the best on the continent and you can never underestimate his team. The leader of the country will make their 12th appearance making them the 4th most experienced team among the 16 competing teams.