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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

CAF Champions League preview: Raja Casablanca (MAR) vs. AmaZulu (RSA)

Saturday’s most intriguing matchup at the 2021-22 CAF Champions League pits South African upstarts AmaZulu against 2020-21 CAF Confederation Cup champions Raja CA in Casablanca. The Moroccan club currently sit six points back with confidence low at the moment, making them a bit vulnerable at the moment. AmaZulu under charismatic manager Benni McCarthy are looking to embrace their time in the spotlight of the CAFCL and are aiming for qualification out of what looks to be a competitive Group B.

Raja are in need of a win to boost their spirits, having drawn their last three matches in Morocco’s Botola Pro following a penalty kick shootout defeat in the CAF Super Cup to Egypt’s Al Ahly. The club failed to replenish the star power in its lineup following departures of prominent attackers Soufiane Rahimi and Congolese striker Ben Malango, who have both moved on to Emirati football. A real blow to the Green Eagles will be the absence of reliable veteran goalkeeper Anas Zniti as well as forward Hamid Ahadad. Under pressure manager Marc Wilmots will have plenty of headaches going into the club’s opening group stage fixture.

AmaZulu and manager McCarthy made bold proclamations before they took part in the competition’s preliminary round, and the team have so far come up with the goods by qualifying for the group stage. The team lost their Nedbank Cup match back home 1-0 to Orlando Pirates, but McCarthy stated he and his team remain confident for Saturday’s matchup. McCarthy has stepped back a bit from making his predictions too bold, remarking that the goal is to be competitive in Group B. AmaZulu will count on a stubborn defense and will hope their sputtering attack can spring to life for the occasion.

AmaZulu face tough test in group stage opener (SuperSport)
Amazulu excited for Raja clash (SuperSport)