GoalBall brings you CAF Champions League predictions as the competition returns for group stage hostilities on Tuesday 19th December 2023.
African powerhouses like reigning champions Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca, TP Mazembe, Esperance and Mamelodi Sundowns, along with 11 other top teams were drawn into four groups to determine the eight teams that will qualify for the knockout phase.
The fourth round of matches of the group stage will be played on 19th December. These are the full group pairings:
Group A: Mamelodi Sundowns, Pyramids FC, TP Mazembe, FC Nouadhibou
Group B: Wydad AC, Simba SC, ASEC Mimosas, Jwaneng Galaxy
Group C: Esperance de Tunis, Petro Luanda, Al Hilal, Etoile du Sahel
Group D: Al Ahly, CR Belouizdad, Young Africans, Medeama SC
With these 16 teams set to battle it out for the ultimate prize, let's delve into the CAF Champions League predictions for the group stage.
CAF Champions League predictions for Group A
Mamelodi Sundowns will begin their CAF Champions League Group A journey on the back of an unprecedented triumph in the inaugural African Football League where they defeated Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca in the finals.
Emerging as arguably the best team in Africa at the moment, and on course to win the African Club of the Year, Masandawana will be full of confidence to take their opponents head-on in the toughest group of the competition this campaign.
Sundowns have not won this competition since they defeated Zamalek 3-1 in the 2016 finals of this tournament, and are on course to make another impression, having gotten to the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League last season and a matter of their recent win in the AFL.
Coach Rhulani Mokwena will rally his troops to navigate a group which includes Congolese giants TP Mazembe, a dangerous Egyptian side Pyramids FC, and Mauritanian outfit FC Nouadhibou.
Mamelodi Sundowns vs. Pyramids FC prediction for Tuesday, 19th December
Narrow win for Sundowns
At the time of this update, Group A is arguably the toughest group in this competition, with all four teams on 4 points each after three rounds of matches.
The Sundowns and Pyramids squared off against each other just nine days ago, and they played out a goalless draw. In spite of this, we're backing Masanadawana to come out on top away from home.
Rhulani Mokwena's side have put up some solid results in recent weeks, winning five of their last seven matches in all competitions. In contrast, Pyramids are on a three-match winless streak heading into this game. We believe Masanadawana will edge out the win in a tightly-contested clash.
Both teams current form
Like we've mentioned, Mamelodi Sundowns are in a better shape coming into this game. Masanadawana lost just once in their last seven matches, with five wins and a draw. On the other hand, Pyramids have just 2 wins in their last eight matches, with three draws and three losses.
Group A CAF Champions League predictions: Mamelodi Sundowns and Pyramids to qualify
CAF Champions League predictions for Group B
In this group, Wydad Casablanca are the overwhelming favourites to snatch top spot. Meanwhile, Simba SC, Mimosa and Jwaneng will battle for the available one slot. It'll be fascinating to see which team joins Wydad in the knockouts from here.
Group B prediction: Wydad Casablanca and Simba SC to qualify.
CAF Champions League predictions for Group C
Tunisian side Esperance were drawn in a tricky Group C which included Angola's Atletico Petroleos, Sudanese giants Al Hilal and their domestic rivals, ES Sahel. Just like Group A, this group is another tough pairing with a hard-to-call outcome.
Group C prediction: Esperance and Al Hilal to qualify.
CAF Champions League predictions for Group D
The defending champions Al Ahly will headline this Group D, which consists of Algerian side CR Belouizdad for a heavyweight North African derby, Tanzania's Young Africans who reached the finals of the CAF Confederation Cup last season, and Ghana's Medeama SC, who are making their debut in this stage of the competition.
Group D prediction: Al Ahly and CR Belouizdad to qualify.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago