CAF Champions League Preview: Al Ahly begin defence of crown, ES Tunis eye glory
By Football News
Al Ahly begin their quest for a third consecutive CAF Champions League title against Tanzanian champions Young Africans.
The Egyptians are the most successful club in the competition's history, having won it eight times, but they face a tough tie against the top scorers from the preliminary round.
Young Africans, who will host the first leg on Friday, stormed through the last stage with a 12-2 aggregate triumph against Komorozine, a result that included a 7-0 victory in the home leg in Dar es Salaam.
Al Ahly are back in domestic league action defending the title they won in 2011, with political unrest having prevented the completion of any season since then.
They currently sit fourth in the Egyptian Premier League, having lost three of their opening nine matches.
Joining Al Ahly in the first round are two of last season's semi-finalists, ES Tunis and Coton Sport, who were given byes through the preliminary stage. The Tunisian side face Gor Mahia, while the Cameroonians have been drawn against Burundian champions Flambeau de l'Est.
TP Mazembe, Al-Hilal and CS Sfaxien were also given byes in the preliminary round, while Sewe Sport and ES Setif will also play their first match of the competition after their previous opponents withdrew.
BYC will take on Sewe, with the Ivorians looking to avoid becoming the Liberian champions' second scalp of the competition after their defeat of Asante Kotoko.
Five-time winners Zamalek had no problems qualifying for the first-round proper of the competition with a 3-0 aggregate win over AS Douanes Niamey, and they face Champions League debutants Kabuscorp in the first-leg in Cairo.
Meanwhile, Moroccan champions Raja Casablanca travel to Guinea to face Horoya, and Leopards face Angola's Primeiro de Agosto.
Kaizer Chiefs take on Liga Muculmana, while Libyan side Al Ahli Benghazi visit Berekum Chelsea.
The only remaining Nigerian side in the competition, Enyimba, host Real Bamako in the first leg, and Dynamos of Zimbabwe welcome Vita Club.
After their second-leg comeback against Mbabane Swallows in the preliminary round Zambian side Nkana face Kampala City Council, and Les Astres host Mazembe having progressed past the opening round for the first time.