Raja Casablanca do not have as much recent CAF Champions League experience, as their quarterfinal opponent, TP Mazembe. They will have to rely on quality of their team and a superb home crowd. The match is on 28th Feb, 2020 from 2100 CAT.
Raja Casablanca Probable XI: Zniti – Boutayeb, Banoun, Warfali, Ngah – Achchakir, Arjoune – Rahimi, Moutouali, Hafidi – Malango (4-2-3-1)
TP Mazembe Probable XI: Gbohou – Mpeko, Chongo, Mwape, Ochaya – Koffi, Ourega – Ushindi, Likonza, Kalaba – Muleka (4-2-3-1)
What is at stake?
Of course, everyone’s eyes will be on how Ben Malango carries himself against his former team.
Not too many people are expecting too many things from Raja Casablanca. We are one of the few that gave them a chance of reaching the semifinals of the CAF Champions League. Raja has shown itself to be a cup specialist team. The Casablanca team knocked out Wydad Casablanca and MC Alger from the Arab Club Championship, where they are at the semifinal stage.
The team is also getting back to full strength as a number of injured players make themselves available to, coach, Jamal Sellami.
TP Mazembe have had a lengthy rest since finishing top of Group A. This could leave them absolutely fresh to play at the Mohamed V stadium or it could be that the team has lost its sharpness after not playing competitively for so long. The Lubumbashi team also has a poor away record in Morocco and will have to overturn it in front of +50,000 fans.
What will the match be like?
Sellami expects to have a full-house squad to select from for this match. Moutouali and Boutayeb are back. They will surely slot right back into the starting XI. Abdelilah Hafidi is about to agree a lucrative new deal with Raja Casablanca. He is also fit.
It remains to be seen not only if he will start but also if he can hit the high ceiling he is known for. Sellami should have him on the bench as a man to come on and change the match, for this first leg tie.
This is because a lot of the responsibility to create any action will fall on the home team. TP Mazembe will be comfortable with a slow match involving few clear cut chances. They will not be disappointed to walk away with a draw so as to complete the job at Mazembe stadium.
As such, we expect Likonza to play higher up the pitch and Ourega to add a defensive player in that midfielder. All the attacking burden will be left to the wingers and how Jackson Muleka will show up on the day.
Raja Casablanca 2-1 TP Mazembe
Raja Casablanca are motivated and will have quality if all the players returning from injury will be ready to perform. The issue for The Greens will be to demonstrate maturity of handling matches of such tight margins. TP Mazembe will be happy with either a draw or an away goal in a narrow defeat.