South Africa’s big three take centre stage in the CAF tournaments this weekend as Mamelodi Sundowns look to emulate their success in 2016, by winning the Champions League while Kaizer Chiefs head into the group stages of the same tournament for the first time ever.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
In the CAF Confederations Cup, Orlando Pirates have what should be a fairly favourable tie against Jwaneng Galaxy, but as we’ve seen with the Buccaneers, nothing is as easy as it seems.
Saturday 13 February
On Saturday, the first of two South African giants to get their show underway is Mamelodi Sundowns, who take on Sudanese club, Al-Hilal Omdurman. By no means are Sundowns’ opponents some African juggernaut, in fact, they’re not even the biggest club in Sudan. Considering the Brazilians haven’t lost a home game in the CAF Champions League since 2017, they really should find very little difficulty in finding a way to break down Al-Hilal Omdurman.
On the other hand, for South Africa’s other footballing giant in the CAF Champions League, Kaizer Chiefs have one of the most difficult games of their season when they travel up north to face Wydad Casablanca. The Moroccan heavyweights are well-regarded as one of the best clubs on the continent, while Mzansi’s Glamour Boys have lost their swagger this term. Under Gavin Hunt, Chiefs have struggled for consistency and come off the back of being dumped out of the Nedbank Cup to Richards Bay FC.
It should be straightforward to call but Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca look like sure bets for all the weekend multiples.
Sunday 14 February
Orlando Pirates make the short trip to Botswana to do battle with Jwaneng Galaxy as Josef Zinnbauer’s charges look to make their marker in the CAF Confederations Cup. Pirates, like their Soweto rivals, have struggled to maintain a winning formula, while their German mentor has come under hot water for not being in a title chase at this stage of the campaign. Jwaneng Galaxy have already come up against South African opposition already this term, getting knocked out of the CAF Champions League preliminary rounds by Mamelodi Sundowns. In those two legs against the South African champions, Galaxy were wasteful with the chances they created while their defence never looked as tight as it should have been if they want to compete at this level.
Because of home ground advantage though, I’ll take my chances with backing a draw between Pirates and Galaxy.
Written by Jesse Nagel