1. Another North African Derby in Cairo
Esperance beat Etoile du Sahel 2-0 in all Tunisian affairs in the first North African derby of the Group Stage. In another one in Cairo, the defending champions will entertain the Algerian champions in a make-or-break tie for both teams as a win for the Red Devils will push them further above their opponents. The Algiers-based club needs at least a point to stay alive in the group as defeat will narrow their chances. North African derbies are the best regional derbies on the continent especially when they meet at this level.
2. Jonathan Sowah is available for Medeama SC
Evans Augustine Adotey Sowah will welcome his star man Jonathan Sowah to the team as his absence was clear in their 2-1 win over Belouozdad last week. Joshua Agyeman, Derrick Fordjour and Daniel Lomotey were wasteful in the attack as Medeama created enough chances that called for someone to score at least two. Jonathan Sowah is a top striker who will deliver when chances are supplied to him so his comeback is a morale booster for the team.
3. Etoile du Sahel can’t afford to drop a point
In a must-win game for the Tunisians, Etoile will be on the verge of elimination if they lose once again at home to Al Hilal. In the two games played so far, Etoile has lost both, conceded 3 goals and scored none. This is too horrible for a team that won the Tunisian League at the expense of Esperance and also eliminated Moroccan champions FAR Rabat en route to the group stage. It is a must-win game for Etoile but Florent Ibenge’s side is full of confidence after the 3-1 win in Tanzania over Esperance.
4. Wydad Casablanca and Simba both need a win
The Moroccan giants won their first game in 5 matches after a 3-1 win over Mouloudia Oudja in the Botola PRO. A very difficult month for the Wydad family as they were beaten in four consecutive games before the 3-1 win in the midweek. In the Champions League, Wydad Casablanca of all teams is at the bottom of Group B with no win, no draw, and no goal but two defeats. A game against Simba SC who has drawn both games is a must-win for both sides in Morocco as the two leaders of the group play each other in Botswana.
5. TP Mazembe visits a very tough venue
Nouadhibou has not lost a single game since Kara of Togo defeated them 1-0 in August 2022 in the 2022-23 CAF Champions League playoff. After the impressive 2-0 win over Pyramids in MD2, Nouadhibou eviscerated Entou 7-0 away from home in the Mauritanian League. This shows how tough they are. TP Mazembe won a crucial game against Sundowns last weekend but must double their effort if they’re to win in Mauritania against the minnows.
6. Can Petro Silence Tunisia again?
Petro du Luanda surprisingly won 2-0 in Tunisia last week against Etoile du Sahel which made them the only team to record two wins from two games. On another visit to Rhades to meet the experienced Esperance, Portuguese coach Alexandre Santos has a huge task ahead as Esperance has always been a tougher opponent, especially at home. With Portuguese forward Alexandre Guedes, Soares, Jonathan Toro, Jaredi and Tiago Azulao around, Petro has the quality to cause another upset.