With the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League group D’s qualification business done and dusted with Wydad Athletic Club and Petro de Luanda already confirming their place in the quarter finals, focus will be on the remaining three groups as to who will earn a place in the last eight.
Group leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, Raja Club Athletic and Esperance have a chance to book their tickets in the penultimate round of group matches this weekend.
Meanwhile, defending champions Al Ahly are out to secure their place in the quarter finals after back to back losses in the last two matches.
Leaders Sundowns are on 10 points, six ahead of Al Ahly, Al Hilal and Al Merrikh who are all on four points. The Brazilians need just a point when they play away to Hilal in Omdurman to earn a place in the quarters.
It will be a tough encounter as Hilal also need a win to ensure they retain their hopes of making the quarters.
The first leg meeting between these two sides in South Africa ended in a 1-0 victory for Sundowns. Hilal come into the tie fresh from winning 1-0 against Merrikh in the derby last weekend.
Meanwhile, defending champions Ahly will be taking on Merrikh, in a match that carries equal importance for both sides. Fate is in Ahly’s hand as they are second in the group, but must win to retain their hopes of qualification.
Ahly won 3-2 when the two sides met in the first leg in Cairo, but they will be wary as they had been leading 2-0 before the Sudanese side drew 2-2. A late own goal salvaged them victory in this tie.
18-03-2022: Al Merrikh v Al Ahly
19-03-2022: Al Hilal v Mamelodi Sundowns
Leaders Raja Club Athletic suffered their first defeat of the group last weekend when they dropped a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Horoya AC in Conakry, Guinea.
But, the Green Eagles can book a slot in the quarter finals if they manage at least a draw away to third placed AmaZulu in South Africa on Saturday.
They are on nine points in the standings, three ahead of the South African debutants. AmaZulu on their end will also be out to earn victory and keep their hopes alive. They will also be seeking revenge after losing 1-0 away to the Algerians in the first leg.
Meanwhile, ES Setif who are placed second, also on six points will be at home against Horoya. Setif need a win to ensure they remain second. Horoya on the other hand are also in a must win situation to give themselves hope. A loss would see their dreams of a last eight quashed.
18-03-2022: AmaZulu v Raja Club Athletic
18-03-2022: Es Setif v Horoya AC
Esperance of Tunisia and CR Belouizdad are perched at the top with eight points each, though Esperance edge to the top on head to head. Both sides can secure a quarter final spot if they win their matches this weekend.
Esperance will be away to already eliminated Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana hoping to compete a double over the side they beat 4-0 in Rades on match day one.
Meanwhile, Algerians Belouizdad will face a tougher challenge when they take on another Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel in Algiers. Etoile who are third on three points are in a must win situation to keep hope alive.
19-02-2022: Jwaneng Galaxy v Esperance du Tunis
19-02-2022: CR Belouizdad v Etoile du Sahel
With qualification already a concluded matter in this group, Petro de Luanda and Wydad Athletic Club are seeking for positional supremacy.
Petro who sit top on 10 points will be at home against already eliminated Zamalek who are looking to finish their campaign with pride. The two sides played to a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Egypt in a game where Petro led 2-0.
Meanwhile, Wydad will be away to another already eliminated side, Sagrada Esperanca in Luanda. Sagrada have just picked one point in four matches and are looking to walk away with pride.
19-02-2022: Petro de Luanda v Zamalek
19-02-2022: Sagrada Esperanca v Wydad Athletic Club