By Baron Kironde
Competition in the CAF Confederation Cup has intensified as the tournament hits the last eight.
The last eight teams will play their first legs on Sunday, with two former title-holders, Raja and CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, seeking aggregate advantages.
Raja Casablanca v Orlando Pirates
Raja Casablanca is the “better placed” side as they travel away to Orlando Pirates in South Africa on Sunday in a CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final first leg.
The Moroccan side boasts of a good away record and is, without doubt, a title favourite.
Pyramids vs Enyimba
Pyramids is expected to win this one against Enyimba, who have been dreadful in the Confederation Cup this season when playing away from their Aba base in southeastern Nigeria.
The two-time African champions, Enyimba lost all four matches on the road with the lowest points tally including a three-goal thrashing from Entente Setif in Algeria.
Apart from the heavy loss to Raja, Pyramids have been victorious when playing in Cairo, and Burkinabe Eric Traore, Palestinian Mahmoud Wadi and Uruguayan Diego Rolan are formidable forwards.
CS Sfaxien vs JS Kabylie
This intriguing pairing ensures there will be at least one North African team among the semi-finalists.
Sfaxien are seeking a record-extending fourth title, with their last coming in 2013. They will heavily rely on Firas Chaouat for goals
Kabylie of Algeria has lifted six CAF trophies, but none since completing a hat-trick of victories in the now-defunct CAF Cup 19 years ago.
Cotton Sport vs Jaraaf
Either side surprisingly reached the last eight with Coton Sport of Cameroon seeded third and Jaraaf of Senegal fourth in their groups with only the top two finishers progressing.
Coton finished second, one point ahead of Renaissance Berkane of Morocco, who edged Pyramids in the 2020 final.
Jaraaf hopes to become the first Senegalese club to win a CAF competition and boast a star in Papa Paye, whose three goals were a key factor in qualifying at the expense of Tunisians Etoile Sahel.