The ball never stops rolling on the continent as just one week after the conclusion of the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN), the inter clubs competition has returned.
Three-time winners TP Mazembe will be the centre of attraction as the first round of matches in the group stage of the 2022/23 edition of the Total Energies Confederation Cup are played on Sunday.
The DR Congo giants are among three clubs from their country that will be playing in the group phase competition for this year.
Mazembe, with players in the CHAN team that crashed out of the group stage of the recent tournament in Algeria, will be hoping to placate their fans with a better performance when they host Malian side AS Real of Bamako.
They are placed in a tough group as another match of the group will see Tanzanian giants travelling to Tunisia to face US Monastir.
The Ravens – nickname of the TP Mazembe – will start their group phase campaign under new coach Pamphile Mihayo following the sacking of French coach Frank Dumas.
With several new recruits including experienced Ghanaian defender Ismail Abdul Ganiyu, Raven captain Christian Kouame is confident they will thrive with the tactics of new coach Mihayo in their Group D match on Sunday.
“As a professional footballer, I have to adapt to all the coaching systems. Coach Dumas had a 3-5-2 formation, coach Pamphile applies the same system but we can deploy differently and sometimes we try to switch to 4-4-2. But we always adapt to the coach’s system,” Kouame said ahead of Sunday’s match.
“We tried to initaite the new recruits in our system, show them how things are done at TP Mazembe.
“We are aware of what awaits us and are fixed on the objectives: this year, our focus is on this Confederation Cup. We have no room for error – we must snatch victory against Real of Bamako.”
Mazembe’s compatriots FC St Eloi Lupopo are also in the competition and they will travel to face USM Alger in Algeria in Group A in what is expected to be another enticing match.
The team from Lubumbashi, back in the African competition, will be hoping to surprise their hosts. Elsewhere, Marumo Gallants of South Africa will face Al Akhdar of Libya.
The other DR Congo club in the competition DC Motema Pembe have been placed in Group B where they start their campaign against ASEC Mimosas in what is expected to be a fiery encounter.
The Ivorians who continue to dominate at home but are struggling on the continent and in their match on Sunday they hope to turn things around. Congo’s Diables Noirs, in their debut against Nigeria’s Rivers United, is the second match in the group.
In Group C, ASKO of Togo will be hosting Egyptian side Future FC. The latter, promoted from the second division, are making a splash in their league and will be looking to continue that trend. The tough teams of the group remain the Pyramids of Egypt and AS FAR of Morocco.
The race to succeed RS Berkane as champions has been launched and it should be noted that the final of the CAF Total Energies Confederation Cup will be played on home-and-away basis this year. This is in accordance with the resolution of the CAF Executive Committee of July 2022.
The weekend’s full fixtures (All times in GMT)
13:00: Marumo Gallants – Al Akhdar
19:00: USM Alger – St Eloi Lupopo
16:00: ASEC Mimosas – Motema Pembe
16:00: Diables Noirs – Rivers
16:00: ASKO – Future FC
19:00: Pyramids – AS FAR
13:00: TP Mazembe – AS Real Bamako
16:00: US Monastir – Yanga
Credit CAF MEDIA TEAM