Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane

V Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo host CAF Champions League title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa on Wednesday in an intriguing matchday 2 showdown.

The Kinshasa team eliminated the Pretoria side from the competition in the final qualifying round last season only to be disqualified for using a banned player.

Given a second chance, Sundowns went on to win the competition, leaving their Congolese opponents pondering what might have been.

Group A

Ferroviario Beira (Mozambique) v Al Hilal (Sudan)

TUESDAY, AT BEIRA, MOZAMBIQUE: It was hardly surprising that Ferroviario took a five-goal beating from Etoile Sahel in Tunisia as they lost qualifiers in Zanzibar and Liberia against modest opposition.

Of the 16 group-phase competitors, the Mozambicans and Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya look the most vulnerable judged by matchday 1 evidence.

Al Merrikh (Sudan) v Etoile Sahel (Tunisia)

TUESDAY, AT OMDURMAN, SUDAN: Former champions Etoile take the only perfect 2017 Champions League record – three victories and a 10-1 goal tally – to 2015 semi-finalists Merrikh.

This fixture should reveal a lot about two clubs with sights firmly set on top-two finishes in the mini-league and quarter-finals places.


At Sousse, Tunisia: Etoile Sahel (TUN) 5 (Diogo Acosta 14, 69, Alkhaly Bangoura 37, Hamza Lahmar 57, Hameur Bouazza 60) Ferroviario Beira (MOZ) 0

At Omdurman, Sudan: Al Hilal (SUD) 1 (Azeez Shobowale 31) Al Merrikh (SUD) 1 (Elsamani Saaldeldin 61)

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Group B

Al Ahly Tripoli (Libya) v Zamalek (Egypt)

TUESDAY, AT TUNIS: A major handicap for Ahly is having to play home matches at neutral venues – usually Tunis.

They offered surprisingly little resistance when losing heavily at USM Alger of Algeria and 2016 runners-up Zamalek will view this fixture as a potential three-pointer.

CAPS United (Zimbabwe) v USM Alger (Algeria)

WEDNESDAY, AT HARARE: The Harare club gave a brave display at Zamalek only to be let down by a couple of blunders from otherwise impressive goalie Edmore Sibanda.

CAPS have failed to score in three of five Champions League matches this season and will find USM a typically well-organised side defensively.


At Algiers: USM Alger (ALG) 3 (Farouk Chafaï 31, Carolus Andriamatsinoro 45+1, Oussama Darfalou 83) Al Ahly Tripoli (LBA) 0

At Alexandria, Egypt: Zamalek (EGY) 2 (Basem Morsy 56, Stanley Ohawuchi 84) CAPS Utd (ZIM) 0

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Group C

Saint George (Ethiopia) v Esperance (Tunisia)

TUESDAY, AT ADDIS ABABA: Debutants Saint George probably surpassed their expectations by holding Mamelodi Sundowns goalless in cold and wet Pretoria.

Esperance will not relish the stamina-sapping 2,355-metre altitude of Addis Ababa.

V Club (Democratic Republic of Congo) v Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

WEDNESDAY, AT KINSHASA: Sundowns lost 1-0 to V Club in Kinshasa last year at the 30,000-capacity Stade Tata Raphael, scene of “Rumble in the Jungle”.

This time the 80 000-seat Stade des Martyrs is the venue and an anticipated “full house” is only going to add pressure on already stressed Sundowns.


At Pretoria: Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA, holders) 0 Saint George (ETH) 0

At Rades, Tunisia: Esperance (TUN) 3 (Fousseny Coulibaly 19, Tata Yassine Khenissi 26-pen, Anice Badri 86) V Club (COD) 1 (Yazid Atouba 9)

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Group D

Coton Sport (Cameroon) v Al Ahly (Egypt)

TUESDAY, AT GAROUA, CAMEROON: Ahly are another club needing a boost after failing to pierce Zanaco of Zambia in a goalless draw.

But the Garoua match venue has happy memories for the “Cairo Red Devils” – they won the 2008 Champions League there after a 2-2 second-leg draw.

Zanaco (Zambia) v Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)

WEDNESDAY, AT LUSAKA: Zanaco excelled defensively when frustrating Ahly in Alexandria – a fourth clean sheet in five Champions League outings this season.

But the Lusaka outfit failed to score in two previous home matches, raising concerns as to whether they have the flair to penetrate Wydad.


At Alexandria: Al Ahly (EGY) 0 Zanaco (ZAM) 0

At Casablanca, Morocco: Wydad Casablanca 2 (William Jebor 38, Amine Atouchi 63) Coton Sport (CMR) 0

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