In the top match of the CAF Champions League, reigning champions Al Ahly SC and South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns face each other at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday evening. The kick-off is at 20:00 CET and is broadcasted live on SuperSport Variety 4 in Africa. We have the latest team info, stats and best bets for you!
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What speaks for Al Ahly?
- Defending champions
- Home advantage
- Better squad
What speaks for Mamelodi Sundowns?
- Only one defeat in South Africa Premierleague this season
- Plenty of confidence
- Good defence
Our Betting Tip
- Bet: Al-Ahly SC Homewin & Under 2.5
- Bookmaker: Bet365
- Odds: 1.55 & 1.65
These two top African teams have also played each other in the past three Champions League seasons. In the last two years, the Egyptian champions always came out on top and did not let Mamelodi stop them on their way to winning the title. And this year, too, the only way to the CAF Champions League title is through the team from Cairo. But Mamelodi, the 2016 champions, will make it difficult for the Egyptians.
Expert analysis Al Ahly SC
Al Ahly SC are the reigning 2020 and 2021 champions and are aiming for what Real Madrid achieved in Europe: a hat-trick! However, South African coach Pitso Mosimane’s team has had a very demanding programme recently. In addition to the Egyptian League and the CAF Champions League, it also took part in the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. There, the team caused a minor sensation by defeating the favoured team from Monterrey 1-0. They also put in a good performance against Brazilian club Palmeiras but were beaten 2-0 in the end. In the third-place match, they defeated Al-Hilal 4-0. In December they won the African Super Cup on penalties against Raja Casablanca. The score was 1-1 after 90 minutes.
A lot of games for the Al-Ahly’s stars, but that also means they are always challenged at the highest level, and that is a clear advantage over the opponents the Egyptians will face in Group A of the Champions League. Their first match against the very defensive Sudanese side Al-Hilal Khartoum ended 0-0. Al-Hilal only allowed 1 shot on goal for Al-Ahly and 5 shots in total.
On Tuesday, Al-Ahly prepared for their clash with Mamelodi. They beat Misr Lel Makasa 4-0 at home in the Egyptian league.
South African playmaker Percy Tau is also back in the squad. Tau was a key player for Mamelodi for many years and moved to Cairo from Brighton in the EPL in September, a special wish by Pitso Mosimane.
Mosimane, the coach of Al-Ahly, knows the Mamelodi team very well. He coached there for 8 years and eventually won the Champions League with the Sundowns. He took this success to Cairo in 2020 and won the Champions League twice with Al-Ahly.
Expert analysis Mamelodi Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns have dominated the South African Championship all season. They have lost only one of 21 games and conceded only 10 goals in total. Their start to the group stage of the CAF Champions League was also ideal. They won 1-0 at home against Al Hilal Khartoum and played out a 0-0 draw against Al Merreikh last week, a match that took place on a neutral pitch in Cairo rather than Omdurman in Sudan.
The star of coach Manqoba Mngqithi’s side is clearly Namibian centre-forward Peter Shalulile, who has been involved in 17 of the 28 goals in the South African championship. However, Shalulile has gone without a goal in the last six competitive matches and the “Brazilians” (Mamelodi’s nickname) are eagerly awaiting another goal from the Namibian – which they need, as Slovakian centre-forward, Pavol Safranko has been out with an injury recently and is also doubtful against Al-Ahly. The problems in attack also led to the surprising decision to deploy Bolivian newcomer Erwin Saavedra, normally a right midfielder, in attack – where he immediately picked up an injury and is doubtful. So the South Africans lack attacking power, but they can rely on a good defence, led by experienced Ugandan national goalkeeper Denis Onyango.
Head-to-head & statistics
The two teams have met in the past three seasons of the CAF Champions League. In May 2021, the two teams played each other in the quarter-finals – a 1-1 draw in South Africa, but then Al-Ahly won 1-0 at home in Cairo to advance to the semi-finals.
In 2020, they met in the group stage. Again, a 1-1 draw in Johannesburg – then Al-Ahly won 1-0 at home.
However, there was also an emphatic 5-0 win for Masandawana in April 2019 – but the coach then was Pitso Mosimane. And he has now changed sides …
Our betting tip for Al-Ahly SC vs. Mamelodi Sundowns
For champions Al-Ahly, it is once again a game in which they will be challenged on a high level – and not have to run against a defensive wall, as is the case in matches against teams from Sudan. Nevertheless, Mamelodi will put his main focus on the defence as the team is currently suffering from some absences in the attack. Many goals are not to be expected in this match. But in the end, the Egyptian champions will be too strong for Mamelodi Sundowns and will win the match narrowly 1-0 or 2-0.
Our tip for this match is therefore Under 2.5 goals and a home win for Al-Ahly. Since both odds are low, you can also combine them at many bookmakers: Home win Al-Ahly and less than 2.5 goals.
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