CAF Champions League: Nowhere to hide for Africa's big eight in the quarters

CAF Champions League: Nowhere to hide for Africa's big eight in the quarters

The 2019/20 CAF Champions League quarterfinal that was conducted on Wednesday in Cairo revealed interesting and mouthwatering pairings.

For the first time in history, all the eight quarterfinalists in the Caf Champions League have lifted this coveted trophy in the past.

The eight teams have won the coveted trophy an astonishing 29 times, with Al Ahly dominating the winners roll with eight titles. Congolese side TP Mazembe and Egypt's Zamalek have won the titles five times each.

Let's look at the pairings and make our predictions

Al Ahly (Egypt) vs Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

Al Ahly needed the last matchday in Omdurman in Sudan against Al Hilal to progress to the last eight ina pool that also comprised of Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel. Al Ahly have been very inconsistent in this season's campaign and no longer have that air of invincibility around them.

On the other hand, the South Africans cruised into the last eight unbeaten and are currently playing their best football in months. Looking at the two teams' domestic and continental form,it'sno brainer picking Mamelodi Sundowns as the favourites and sure bet to progress. 

Raja Club Athletic (Morocco) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

Another clash of titans! The Moroccans finished Pool D with the same number of points with defending champions Esperance, with identical wins, draws and losses but had inferior goal difference. They will face TP Mazembe beaming with confidence after going through the group phase unbeaten. The Congolese side boasts the tournament's top scorer in Jackson Muleka. 

We pick TP Mazembe to progress to the last four based on their away form and the potency in front of goals. 

Zamalek (Egypt) vs Esperance (Tunisia)

This one will be closely watched! The two teams will first meet in AfricanSuper Cupset for Doha, Qatar on February 14. This quarterfinal will be the clash between two defending champions, Zamalek are reigning Confederation Cup champions while Esperance will be defending their Champions League. 

With their imperious form in both domestic and continental assignments, it is hard to pinpoint a favourite but we place our money on Zamalekto upset the defending champions. 

Wydad Club Athletic (Morocco) vs Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia)

Another all-North African clash in the thisMeghreb-dominated tournament. Wydad finished second behind Mamelodi Sundowns in PoolC with only two wins and three draws, while Etoile finished on top ofPool B that had Al Ahly with three wins and two draws. 

Both teams are unconvincing but Etoile's pedigree should guide them over their Moroccan counterparts and into the last four.