1. Baba Yara hosts its first money zone game in 17 years and 1 month
Medeama SC has adopted the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi as their home with their TNA Park set to be completed in March 2024.
Medeama will play against Algerian champions CR Belouizdad on Friday at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
It will be 6,264 days (894 weeks 6 days) exactly on Friday since a CAF Champions League group stage game was played in Kumasi at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Kotoko 2-1 JS Kabylie on Saturday 9th September 2006 was the last Group stage game played in Kumasi. It is 17 good years, and 1 month long.
2. West African debutants have the chance to record their first wins
Medeama SC and Nouadhibou are the two debutants in the CAF Champions League as they were beaten by defending champions Al Ahly and the African Football League Champions Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 each.
They lack the experience required at this level as it was clear in their first games.
Medeama will play against Belouizdad in Kumasi on Friday and Nouadhibou FC will also host Pyramids on Saturday at the Stade Chekha Boidiya in Nouakchott.
The WAFU representatives have the chance to record their first wins as they will feel more comfortable playing in front of their fans than playing away from home.
3. Jwaneng Galaxy will fancy their chances against Simba on Sunday
Ko Jwaneng, a song by Johnny Mokhali was blasted to welcome the heroes of Jwaneng. The Galaxy shocked the continent with their 1-0 win in Marrakesh against Wydad Athletic as they were given a hero’s welcome back home.
Morena Ramoraboli and his boys would fancy their chances against a team they shocked in 2021 in the final playoff game to the money zone, Simba won comfortably 2-1 in the first leg in Botswana as the second leg was a walk in the park for the Tanzanians in Dar es Salam.
Jwaneng Galaxy went down 1-0 in the first half but scored 3 in the second half to win 3-1 and secure qualification on an away goal rule. That was also shocking just like their 1-0 win in Morocco last weekend. Jwaneng Galaxy will fancy their chances to record their second win in the group which will be a huge achievement for the minnows.
4. Asec Abidjan ready to add salt to Wydad Athletic’s injury
Since 2007 ASEC Mimosas and Wydad Casablanca have met 6 times in the CAF Champions League with the Moroccans winning 3, drawing 1 and Asec Mimosas winning 2.
Asec’s last win over Wydad was a 2-0 win in Abidjan with Ahmed Toure scoring the two goals in MD5 of Group A of the 2018/19 season.
Wydad Athletic is in trouble as they have lost their last 3 games against Mamelodi Sundowns, Jwaneng Galaxy and FAR Rabat.
Asec secured a precious 1 point in Tanzania last weekend in a 1-1 draw against Simba SC.
Will Asec compound their troubles?
5. Moise Katumbi buys all the tickets for TP Mazembe fans against Mamelodi Sundowns
Per reports emanating from Lubumbashi, TP Mazembe super owner Moïse Katumbi Chapwe has bought all the tickets for the game between TP Mazembe against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
Moise Katumbi,58, has asked all TP Mazembe fans to go and pick up free tickets to go and enjoy the game. The politician plus businessman is the president of TP Mazembe and believes the fans can help create an atmosphere that will help the Baba Boys secure a win.
TP Mazembe lost to Pyramids in Cairo last week as Sundowns started their campaign with an easy 3-0 win against Nouadhibou.
6. All the giants play away from home
Al Ahly, Wydad Athletic, Esperance de Tunis and Mamelodi Sundowns will all play their second game of the 2023 CAF Champions League away. Al Ahly travels to Tanzania to play Young Africans as Al Hilal hosts Esperance de Tunis. TP Mazembe hosts in-form Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca travels to Abidjan to face Asec.
Will the top-seeded teams prove their title credentials or the home teams will give them a good run for their money?