The CAFCL 19/20 quarterfinal set up four mouth-watering clashes just as all of us had anticipated. We will have to wait for some time, though, until we can see the 8 teams go at it. The first legs will be on the weekend of 28th and 29th February, 2020. The second legs will be played on 6th and 7th Match. It is too early to make predictions but who says we should not do it?
Here are the 4 teams we think will reach the semifinals (our opinions will probably change as we get closer to match-day):
1. Al Ahly vs Mamelodi Sundowns
Another 5-0? We don’t think so. We are just looking forward to an entertaining match between two teams that always play attacking football. Rene Weiler has set up Al Ahly to play like this. Pitso Mosimane has always tried to play on the front foot. Al Ahly will welcome back Ramadan Sobhy and will probably have Aliou Badji up and running. Sundowns will simply be out to pick up from their group stage momentum.
Early Prediction: Al Ahly to progress on away goals rule despite playing the second leg away from home.
2. Raja Casablanca vs TP Mazembe
TP Mazembe have not enjoyed their recent trips to Casablanca. But they suffered while playing a different team from that city. This will be the Congolese team’s first real test of the CAFCL. There is the added spice that they will be meeting their former striker, Ben Malango. He has been replaced by a very able boy in Jackson Muleka. Raja Casablanca have blown hot and cold but will not get room to do that in the knockout stage.
Early Prediction: This will also be decided on away goal rule. I am giving it to Raja Casablanca.
3. Zamalek vs Esperance Tunis
These teams will have met in the CAF Super Cup before this two-legged contest. We will then have a better idea of how each team will approach the match. Zamalek have already been well beaten by a CAFCL title favourite. The reading does not look too good for them coming up against the best team in Africa for the last 2 seasons. Esperance Tunis are rebuilding their team but may just get away with it.
Early Prediction: Esperance plays for a draw in Cairo then secures a routine win in Rades to progress.
4. Wydad Casablanca vs Etoile Sahel
These two teams both have red and white as their club colours. These two teams performed well below their standards in the group stage but still progressed pretty comfortably. The time between now and the first leg is for building up form to become favourites of the tie. We know Wydad can put out good a CAFCL performance. We are never really too sure about Etoile these days.
Early Prediction: This looks like the kind of tie that will end up in a penalty shootout. I flipped a coin and it says Etoile Sahel goes through.