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CAFCL Preview: AS Vita Club (DRC) vs. JS Kabylie (ALG)

After playing their CAF Champions League Group A home opener in Brazzaville last week due to having a home stadium that does not meet CAF standards, AS Vita Club remain in the Republic of Congo for their second fixture against JS Kabylie on Saturday. Les Dauphins Noirs failed to impress in their opener against Petro de Luanda making the matchup against JSK an important one despite their Group A campaign being in its early days. JSK continue to overcome a disastrous domestic season to compete well on the continental stage and will fancy their chances of earning a credible result in Kinshasa.

VClub struggled in their new surroundings when falling 2-1 to Petro in Brazzaville and will need to improve their performance against a JSK side who is proving to be a difficult team to break down. The current leaders of the top division in the DRC were still shaking off the rust after an extended break in the country’s Linafoot left them with a disadvantage against a more in-form Angolan club.

However there were some positives towards the end of the match with a late charge that almost leveled affairs led by Togolese attacking playmaker Marouf Tchakei. Erick Kabwe came off the bench to score the late goal and the young attacker could be ready for a bigger role on Saturday. Burkina Faso national team goalkeeper Farid Ouédraogo did well to keep his team in the match with several saves and has a veteran defense in front of him who will have an easier time against JSK’s unimpressive attack.

JSK continue to experience a season with serious ups and downs. Only days after defeating the reigning champions of Africa, Wydad AC, in a heated and intense match the Canaries fell to a second tier side in the Algeria Cup in a midweek fixture. The club is still in the relegation zone of Algeria’s Ligue 1 Professionnelle and the task of moving up in their domestic table will be more difficult due to their CAF Champions League obligations.

Despite the circumstances it is clear that the players are relishing the opportunity to compete on the continental stage. Star midfielder Salim Boukhenchouche played through injury against Wydad and delivered another reliable performance proving his ability to compete in the important matches. However the midweek cup defeat was a big blow to the morale and Miloud Hamdi’s team appear to be suffering the emotional and physical toll of competing in three different competitions.

Awaiting them in Brazzaville is what should be another difficult challenge despite VClub’s struggles against Petro. Forward Dadi Mouaki is struggling to convert his chances in an attack that continues to put pressure on the defense due to its failure to produce goals. At this point it appears set pieces are the team’s greatest goal scoring threat and JSK will need to have another strong defensive performance to earn a draw or victory.

More on both clubs is below in the links.

LDC CAF : La JSK s’envole pour Kinshasa (Africa Foot United)
La JSK inquiète ses fans (L’Expression)

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