Off-form CAF Confederation Cup trophy-holders Raja Casablanca are bottom of Group A with just two points ahead of a vital away match against fellow Moroccans Renaissance Berkane Sunday.

Helped by two goals from Togolese Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba, Berkane triumphed 4-2 away to Raja last weekend and home advantage gives them a good chance of succeeding again.

Berkane top the table with seven points, Hassania Agadir of Morocco have four and AS Otoho Oyo of Congo Brazzaville and Raja two each.

Group winners and runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League and AFP Sport looks at what may lie in store during matchday 4.

Group A

French coach Patrice Carteron was hired in January to turn around the fortunes of Raja, but has been unable to do so with just two victories from seven matches in all competitions.

A 2-1 midweek loss at FAR Rabat left Raja 17 points adrift of fierce rivals Wydad in the Moroccan title race and a defeat by Berkane could lead to the 48-year-old being axed.

After pipping Otoho in Morocco last Sunday, Agadir will hope for at least a point from the return match in central Africa to increase hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage.

Group B

Enugu Rangers of Nigeria surrendered the last unbeaten record in the Confederation Cup this season when they allowed Etoile Sahel of Tunisia to come from behind at home and beat them.

The clubs meet for the second time within eight days, this time in west Africa, where the odds favour Enugu, especially if leading scorers Godwin Aguda and Bright Silas click.

After surprisingly holding CS Sfaxien in Tunisia, Salitas of Burkina Faso can become contenders for a top-two finish if they beat the record three-time Confederation Cup winners in Ouagadougou.

Group C

Al Hilal of Sudan are the only club to take an away point so far in this section and face Zesco United again this weekend, at home, knowing a win will probably lift them to the top.

Current occupants of first place, Nkana of Zambia, beat Asante Kotoko of Ghana in Kitwe, but the west Africans are likely to exact revenge before an expected 30,000 crowd in Kumasi.

Nkana will lack two regular defenders, Ghanaian Richard Ocran and Kenyan Musa Mohammed, due to suspensions with Given Sinyangwe and Joseph Musonda possible replacements.

Group D

While NA Hussein Dey of Algeria host leaders Gor Mahia of Kenya in a top-of-the-table showdown, bottom club Zamalek of Egypt will be battling for survival away to Petro Atletico of Angola.

Seeded to finish first, the nine-time CAF title winners from Cairo conceded four goals in losing away to Gor on matchday 1 and were then held at home by Hussein Dey and Petro.

A draw is probably the most the Egyptians can hope for in Angola on current form, but the side guided by former Tottenham Hotspur manager Christian Gross really need maximum points.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.