DR Congo giants TP Mazembe welcome Egyptian counterparts Zamalek, in the opening matchday of the Caf Champions League Group A at the TP Mazembe Stadium in Lubumbashi on Saturday.
Mazembe and Zamalek have each won the Champions League title five times, a number that’s only exceeded by record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt.
Mazembe last won the prestigious premier continental club championship in 2015, while Zamalek, last season’s Confederation Cup winners tasted glory in the Champions League back in 2002.
It’s going to be the seventh Caf match between both giants, with all six previous meetings being in the Champions League.
After Zamalek’s semifinal 3-1aggregate win on their way to the 2002 title, the two sides met four times in the group stage of 2012 and 2014, with Mazembe winning three of them and managing one draw.
Overall Mazembe have won three times compared to Zamalek’s lone victory, whereas two other games ended in stalemates.
Led by their former captain Pamphile Mihayo, who tasted the Champions League glory twice as captain (in 2009 and 2010), Mazembe is – as always known – a blend of African talents, including players from DR Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana, Congo, Tanzania and Benin.
Meanwhile, Zamalek banks on their North African mixture which includes two Tunisians and as many Moroccans besides their regular Egyptian internationals. They enter this season’s group stage guided by an experienced coach on the African football landscape in ex-Uganda and Orlando Pirates Serbian Milutin Sredojevic.
Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto hosts Zambia’s Zesco United in the other Group A match in Luanda, also on Saturday.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo
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