Mamelodi Sundowns will chase a second win in Group A of the CAF Champions League when they face hosts Al Merrikh in a Matchday 2 fixture on the afternoon of Saturday.
Kick-off is at 3pm CAT.
Sundowns opened their Group A campaign with a 1-0 home win over another Sudanese side, Al Hilal, last Friday, with Themba Zwane scoring the only goal of their clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
The Brazilians were also in domestic league action on Monday evening, playing to a 1-1 draw away to Baroka FC in which they opened the scoring through a stunning strike from Lyle Lakay, only to concede an equaliser deep in injury time at the end of the game.
Nonetheless, ”Downs are still well in charge of the DStv Premiership title race and will turn their full focus on African club competition, hoping to go deep into the CAFCL with the ultimate aim of claiming a second continental title.
“To be honest, the four teams that are in this group are all capable of going through,” Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi explained.
He said; “I don’t want to say who’ll go through.
But I hope Mamelodi Sundowns is one of the two teams.
“But the truth of the matter is that it’s not going to be easy for any team – mark my words.
As the matches progress, it’s going to be very tight in this group.
I think this is one of the strongest groups in the CAF Champions League this season.
Meanwhile Al Merrikh were not in Champions League action last weekend, as their scheduled opponents, Al Ahly of Egypt, were participating in the Fifa Club World Cup.
Al-Zaeem (The Chief) have been in good form domestically since the resumption of the Sudanese Premier League earlier this month, and will carry that momentum into this clash.
“Al Merreikh will be the dark horse of the tournament, we will qualify for the knock-out stages alongside Al Ahly,” the Club’s President Hazem Mostafa said.
He also confirmed that they would play their home games in Cairo due to their usual home venues being deemed not up to standard by CAF.
In head-to-head stats, this will be the first competitive meeting of Al Merrikh and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Sundowns chase second win in Group A