Rivers, Enyimba, Bayelsa set for CAF battles

Nigerian teams, Rivers United, Enyimba and Bayelsa United will return to the continent this weekend for their CAF inter-club competitions first-round matches.

Rivers United are Nigeria’s sole campaigners in the CAF Champions League after the shock exit of Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Akwa United, in the hands of Algeria’s CR Belouizdad in the preliminary rounds.

Rivers face a tricky test against Sudan’s Al Hilal. The Pride of Rivers entertain the two-time CAF Champions League winners in the first leg on Sunday, before returning for the reverse fixture a week later.

A win for River United takes them to the money-spinning group phase of the competition, while a loss will see them crash to the Confederation Cup playoffs.

After being drawn bye for the preliminary rounds, Enyimba open their Confederation Cup campaign against Senegal’s Diambars FC on Saturday. This will be the first competitive match under new coach, Geroge Finidi, after the Aba giants parted ways with former gaffer, Fatai Osho, at the end of the 2020/21 season.

The two-time CAF Champions League winners, who have consistently crashed out in the quarter-finals of the Confederation Cup, will want to begin their campaign on a high when they travel to Stade Fodé Wade in Saly, Senegal for their first leg tie.

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Aiteo Cup champions Bayelsa United face the sternest test in the Confederation Cup when they welcome three-time winners CS Sfaxien to the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa on Sunday.

The Diepreye Teibowei-led side had dumped out Guinea’s Ashanti Golden Boys in a one-legged affair at home and would be hoping to get a favourable result on Sunday against the Tunisian giants.

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