Bidvest Wits will be flying the SA flag in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup, but what are their chances of reaching the last eight? Tiyani wa ka Mabasa assesses their chances.
The Clever Boys are in Group B with Djoliba AC (Mali), Horoya AC (Guinea) and El Nasr (Libya).
Except for Horoya, Wits are not really in the toughest group. They have avoided some tough teams in Egypt’s Pyramids, Zanaco of Zambia and Nigeria’s Enyimba.
Wits will face two teams with no real presence in African club competitions. Horoya, however, would be considered favourites in this group and that is Wits’ real challenge.
Djoliba AC of Mali
Djoliba were in the CAF Confed Cup final in 2012, only to lose to AC Leopards of Congo. Since then, they are always eliminated in the early stages of the CAF competitions. In 2017, they were knocked out in the preliminary round by Egyptian club, Al Masry. Wits, however, will have to tread carefully, because the mere fact that Djoliba are in the group stage shows they are now a better side.
Horoya AC of Guinea
They are a tough team and even Mamelodi Sundowns can attest to this. Last year, in the Champions League, the Brazilians failed to make it past the group stage after drawing both their games against Horoya, who finished second and went through with Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca. Horoya held Downs to a goalless draw in Pretoria. They are a stubborn team and they could well be Wits’ toughest opponent in this group.
El Nasr of Libya
In their 65 years of existence, this is only the third time they’ve participated in the Confed Cup, so like Wits, they don’t have much experience in this competition. It’s the first time Wits are in the group stage, but have international players in their ranks from captain Thulani Hlatshwayo to fellow defenders, Sifiso Hlanti and Buhle Mkhwanazi.
Horoya and Wits to make it past the group stage.
According to CAF, the group stage will kick off on December 1.