Enyimba coach, Fatai Osho has warned the 15 other CAF Confederation Cup contenders to steer clear as his club will settle for nothing less than the trophy this season.
This is coming ahead of matchday 1 on Wednesday when the last Nigerian team in the tournament to win an African club competition will be hosting Libyan outfit Al Ahly Benghazi.
“We have a good chance of winning this competition. Enyimba are title contenders and not just participants. We have what it takes to go all the way and become the first Nigerian winners of the Confederation Cup.”
Here is a look at the first eight group matches in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.
In Group A, three of the teams, Enyimba, Entente Setif of Algeria and Orlando Pirates of South Africa have all won top prizes at the continental level. Benghazi struggled to qualify since they can’t play at home due to security challenges.
Enyimba will start the first leg at home, where they will make sure they grind out victory, while Setif will play Pirates in Ghana because of Algerian coronavirus regulations.
The Pirates’ team is coached by German Josef Zinnbauer are the only team boasting a 100 percent Confederation Cup record this season and not conceding.
In Group B, title holders, Renaissance Berkane of Morocco will seek goal inspirations from 35-year-old Mouhcine Lajour when they host debutants NAPSA Stars of Zambia, who are unbeaten so far.
Lajour’s professional career started in 2003 playing in Italy, Belgium, Qatar and Saudi Arabia before joining Berkane last year.
JS Kabylie of Algeria, who last won a CAF title in 2002, will play Coton Sport of Cameroon, who goes to Tizi Ouzou after winning all three away matches in Africa during this campaign.
And in Group C, Tunisian clubs CS Sfaxien and Etoile Sahel, who between them have played in seven Confederation Cup finals and winning five, are expected to dominate this group.
Record three-time winners, Sfaxien boast of a star goal poacher in Firas Chaouat and it would be shocking if they did not win at home to Salitas from Burkina Faso.
Etoile, that has a strong goal scorer in Ivorian Souleymane Coulibaly, will host Senegalese side, Jaraaf, in Tunisia because there is a construction work going on at their stadium in Mediterranean Resort Sousse.
While in Group D Zambian outfit, Nkana are unbeaten at home in 64 CAF matches, but they have a very bad record in North Africa thereby making them underdogs against 2020 Confederation Cup runners-up, Pyramids of Egypt, in Cairo.
Nkana, captained by Zimbabwean defender,ß Kevin Moyo lost a playoff second leg at Tihad Casablanca of Morocco last month. The loss was their 17th defeat in 18 visits to the region, with the other match drawn.
Raja Casablanca, that has won seven CAF titles will play host to Namungo of Tanzania, making the game look like a David and Goliath affair.