CAF: South African Double Preview

We have a look at SuperSport United's CAF Confed Cup clash, as well as Sundowns' CAF Champions contest, which kicks off on the 15th and 17th of September 2017 respectively. 

SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns will represent South Africa in the CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Champions League respectively. Matsatsantsa welcome Zambian outfit, ZESCO United while the Brazilians play hosts to Wydad Casablanca. There’s no margin for error as the first legs of the respective quarterfinals will surely impact the return legs next week.

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Friday 15 September

CAF Confederation Cup

SuperSport Utd 6/10 | Draw 9/4 | ZESCO Utd 47/10 (19:00)
SuperSport United have had a good start to the season despite not playing well. They have somehow found their way to the MTN8 final, beating Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-finals, drawing against Maritzburg United at home and beating them 2-0 in the return leg of the two-legged semi-final to make it through. In the league, they have played two matches, a 2-1 victory over Kaizer Chiefs and a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Sundowns.

Their new coach, Eric Tinkler took Orlando Pirates to the final of this continental competition in 2015 and that’s the reason why Matsatsantsa roped him in. Jeremy Brockie is in great scoring form having bagged a brace against Maritzburg United after his declined transfer request issue was resolved. Brockie is currently the Confederations Cup’s leading goalscorer with nine goals to his name.

ZESCO are currently enduring a rollercoaster ride having a mixed bag of results in their last five games, during which period they have lost twice, drawn twice and won once. They lie fourth on the log with two games in hand, which keeps their title hopes alive.

Last year’s Champions League semi-finalists topped their Confederations Cup group in the previous round and they will fancy their chances against Group D’s runners up. I think SuperSport’s ability to grind out results will come to the fore and they will win this one.

Sunday 17 September

CAF Champions League

Sundowns 11/10| Draw 19/10 | Wydad Casablanca 28/10 (15:00)
Sundowns are the defending champions of the continent’s most prestigious prize. They qualify for this stage of the competition as the runners up of Group C as they finished second to Esperance De Tunis in the previous round. Heading into their domestic league match against Free State Stars on Monday night, they had eight players out injured which spells trouble for the Brazilians.

They will be hoping that the likes of Khama Billiat, Tiyani Mabunda and Yannick Zakri recover in the nick of time for the match. Sundowns hasn’t been very convincing in the domestic league, probably because they’re paying more attention to the Champions League. They were knocked out of the MTN8 by Maritzburg United and lost one and won one of their first two league games.

Wydad Casablanca have managed to juggle domestic and continental games with ease, clinching the league title a few weeks ago. They come into this contest as the Group D champions, having finished above Al Ahly in the group of death which had teams like Coton Sport and Zanaco.

Moroccan football authorities must also be applauded for postponing the club’s domestic games in view of their continental commitments. Unlike Sundowns. They won’t have any league games during the week but their second string team did lose their league opener 3-1 to FUS Rabat this past weekend. Sundowns players are fatigued which is resulting in injuries and unsatisfactory results. I think they will narrowly lose this match to the Moroccan giants.

SuperSport United Win 6/10
Wydad Casablanca Win 28/10

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