CAF Champions League 2020 - 2021

CR Belouizdad and Esperance ST battle it out in CAF Champions League quarterfinals

CAF Champions League quarterfinals under way. Photo | CAF Online
CAF Champions League quarterfinals under way. Photo | CAF Online


CR Belouizdad will battle it out with Esperance de Tunis in the CAF Champions League quarterfinal first-leg match at the Stade du 5 Juillet 1962 in Algeria on Saturday.

The White and Reds are heading into this clash wounded after they were eliminated from the Algerian League Cup by NC Magra, who won 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw last weekend.

Belouizdad reached the Champions League knockout phase after finishing second in Group B and they are hoping to cause an upset by eliminating four-time winners Esperance.

Zoran Manojlovic, the Belouizdad head coach, refused to attribute their defeat to Magra to their clash with Esperance.

“I do not think that the players neglected this match and thought of the match of the Champions League," Manojlovic said on DZ Competition.

"If that had been the case, we would not have had less than 20 clear scoring opportunities and I'm sure what I'm saying.

"There was not enough concentration in this match and from there, we must work on this component to try to improve as quickly as possible and especially on the finalisation in front of the woods."

Meanwhile, Esperance are wounded after they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Bizertin in the Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 match last weekend.

The Blood and Gold are one of the favourites to win this season's Champions League title having finished at the top of Group D.

Mejdi Traoui, assistant coach of Esperance, says they have turned their attention to Champions League after they successfully defended their Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 title.

"Thank God that we have preserved the league title, and this will give us a great impetus to continue the journey in the Champions League," Traoui said during a press conference.

"Which is our main goal in the season, and after we are happy today with the local title, we will turn the page to start preparing for the African competition."

Belouizdad and Esperance will meet for the first time in the Champions League.