A new dawn in the CAF Champions League begins this weekend as 16 teams battle for glory in the most lucrative club competition on the continent.
The first of its kind, expanded to sixteen clubs, with four groups of each will see five matches on Friday, two on Saturday and just one on Sunday.
Tunisia’s Etoile Du Sahel hosts Mozambique’s Ferroviaro Berra in Tunis seeking a winning start to the campaign but the biggest game of the day will be in Sudan.
Rivals Al Hilal and El Merriekh face off in arguably the biggest match on day one with either targeting not only three points but bragging rights.
Of Ugandan interest is custodian Jamal Salim Magoola, Uganda Cranes third choice goalkeeper who will be between the posts for El Merriekh.
Action in this group will also be on Friday when North Africans USM Alger of Algeria and Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya face off in Algers while former champions, Zamalek host former giants Caps United of Zimbabwe.
Also in action on Friday will be a battle in Tunis when former winners, Esperance host AS Vita of DR Congo while on Saturday, champions Sundowns of South Africa begin their title defence against Ethiopia’s Saint-George.
The latter will feature two Ugandan goalkeepers, Denis Masinde Onyango (Sundowns) and Robert Odongkara (St. George) although the latter is doubtful for the clash with an injury.
Their compatriot, Yasser Mugerwa also has a chance to showcase what PSL side Orlando Pirates missed when they let go of him after just months of signing him from URA.
Mugerwa features for the Ethiopian side that eliminated Congo’s AC Leopards.
Action in this group comes on Saturday and Sunday when record winners, Al Ahly of Egypt host Zambia’s reigning champions, Zanaco while on Sunday, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco play host to on and off Cameroonian side, Coton Sport.
MATCH DAY ONE FIXTURES
Etoile Du Sahel (Tunisia) Vs Ferroviaro Berra (Mozambique) & Al Hilal (Sudan) Vs El Merriekh (Sudan)
USM Alger (Algeria) Vs Al Ahly Tripoli (Libya) & Zamalek (Egypt) Vs Caps United (Zimbabwe)
Esperance (Tunisia) Vs AS Vita (DR Congo)
Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA) Vs St. George (Ethiopia)
Al Ahly (Egypt) Vs Zanaco (Zambia)
Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) Vs Coton Sport (Cameroon)