The lucrative group stage of the 2018/19 TOTAL CAF Champions League will commence on Friday with a crunchy tie involving Nigerian representative Lobi Stars and 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu.
Since winning the competition in 2016, Sundowns have been a major force on the continent and will come up against Lobi Stars who are playing in the Champions League for the first time since they last did in the year 2000. Both teams are in group A of this year’s competition and will slug it out starting from 5pm Nigerian time.
Group A’s other game involving another former champions – Wydad Casablanca, winners in 2017 and ASEC Mimosas of Coted’voire will take place on Friday night at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.
Lobi Stars are coached by Solomon Ogbeide and assisted by Evans Ogenyi but they have now recently added former Super Eagles assistant coach Valerie Houandinou to their coaching staff ahead of the group stage of the competition with the hopes that they will make a telling impact in the competition.
There will also be group B action on Friday evening. Guinean side Horoya AC who have Nigerian forward Bolaji Sakin in their ranks will host defending champions Esperance Sportive du Tunis at the September 28 Stadium in Conakry. The Tunisians must be wary of the Guinean champions who ruffled some feathers in last year’s competition.
The day will end with a Group C game between Club Africain of Tunisia and Algerian side CS Constantine. The match will come up at the Olympic Stadium in Sousse, Tunisia.
Lobi Stars’ game against Mamelodi Sundowns will be officiated by respected Egyptian referee Ghehad Grisha and will be televised live on SuperSport 4 for African viewers from Enugu.