CAF Champions League Preview
The 2017 edition of the CAF Champions League is already at the ‘halfway’ stage of proceedings. After an interesting group stage, the quarterfinals have been set and they will begin in September. Let’s take a look at each of those matches and see who just could come out of them and why.
Al-Ahli Tripoli vs Etoile du Sahel: Tunisian side Etoile have earned the right to play the second leg as hosts after winning Group A with an unbeaten record. They won three times and drew the other three times, showing they will be a tough side to beat here. Al-Ahli, the Libyan side, will be no pushover, however after ousting perennial contenders Zamelek in the group stage. This is a wide-open tie, and it could be won by either side. But you get the feeling that having the second leg will give Etoile a massive advantage.
Al-Ahly vs Esperance: in the tie of the round, the two most successful teams in the history of the competition will meet. Egyptian side Al-Ahly came in second in a top-heavy group where bottom side Coton Sport got not points. Despite that, they have a massive pedigree to them. Their Tunisian opponents, though, also have that very same pedigree. But that has been a little while back, so anything is bound to happen when these sides meet. The Egyptians look strong, but the Tunisians could just edge it in the second leg.
Ferroviario Beira vs USM Alger- After winning their Mozambique League for the first time, Ferroviario Beira squeezed through in the group stage and earned a chance to face this much bigger USM Alger side. The Algerians are big favorites here after losing in the final in 2015 and losing just once in the group stage. This would be a massive upset to see Ferroviario come through and advance to the semi-finals.
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Wydad Athletic- in another mouthwatering tie, South African defending tournament champions Mamelodi Sundowns take on Group D winners Wydad Athletic of Morocco. The Moroccan side came through a very difficult group, but they will have a huge task on their hands against the defending champions. Sundowns did not win their group, but they handily finished second and will be a hard beat in this tie. It’s another toss-up in this one.