South African giants and 13-time PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns are gearing up to find out their opponents for the 2023/24 CAF Champions League group stages.
Despite a good record in the competition, they have only won it once in 2016. Their current form under 36-year-old manager Rulani Mokwena gives their fans hope that they can go all the way to the 2023/24 title.
However, they will have to make it out of the group stages first. For this, they are holding on to hope that they get a good group.
Here is Mamelodi Sundowns dream group stage draw for the African showpiece.
🚨The official draw for the Group Stages of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup will be conducted on Friday, 6th. Oct. 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
— MikeThePundit (@Mike_ThePundit) October 4, 2023
Mamelodi Sundowns in pot 1 for CAF Champions League draw
Mamelodi Sundowns may have won their league for the 13th time in mid-2023 but they had to compete like all other African teams for a place in the 2023/24 CAF Champions League.
However, they got a bye to the second preliminary round where they faced Bumamuru Standard from Burundi, who they defeated six-nil on aggregate across two legs. That got them into the 2023/24 CAF Champions League group stage draw, where they have been placed in Pot 1.
The other teams in Pot 1 are Al Ahly (Egypt), Wydad AC (Morocco) and Espérance de Tunis (Tunisia). Below is the full pots classification of the teams in the 2023/24 CAF Champions League draw.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|Al Ahly (Egypt)||CR Belouizdad (Algeria)||TP Mazembe (DRC)||Étoile du Sahel (Tunisia)|
|Wydad AC (Morocco)||Pyramids FC (Egypt)||Al Hilal (Sudan)||Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana)|
|Espérance de Tunis (Tunisia)||Simba SC (Tanzania)||ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast)||FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania)|
|Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)||Petro de Luanda (Angola)||Young Africans (Tanzania)||Medeama SC (Ghana)|
Each team was also grouped according to their CAF ratings.
The CAF Champions League draws will take place on Friday 6 October 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The CAF Confederations Cup draw will also take place on the same day.
Predicted CAF Champions League group stage draw. 🚨⤵️
• Mamelodi Sundowns 🇿🇦
• CR Belouizdad 🇩🇿
• Al Hilal 🇸🇩
• Medeama 🇬🇭
• Wydad AC 🇲🇦
• Simba SC 🇹🇿
• ASEC Mimosas 🇨🇮
• Jwaneng Galaxy 🇧🇼
• Al Ahly 🇪🇬
• Petro de… pic.twitter.com/JxrboWPXeN
— Micky Jnr (@MickyJnr__) October 4, 2023
Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Rulani Mokwena and other club officials will be in full attendance at the draws. They will be hoping that the home advantage will count for something as they look for a favourable group.
Mamelodi Sundowns worst and best opponents for CAF Champions League draw
Mamelodi Sundowns worst opponents
Every team outside North Africa is wary of teams from that region of the continent, including Mamelodi Sundowns. This is because they are the most successful teams in CAF competitions, including the Africa Cup of Nations.
Masandawana will hope to avoid these teams in their group. Luckily for them, the three biggest North African teams in this season’s competition – Al Ahly (Egypt), Wydad AC (Morocco) and Espérance de Tunis (Tunisia) – are in Pot 1 with them. The South African team will avoid them until the knockout rounds. However, there are still three teams from North Africa spread across the other pots.
Outside footballing reasons, Masandawana is located in the far south of the continent and travelling up North for games could take a physical and mental toll on them. Masandawana is competing in three domestic competitions and will also be participating in the maiden Africa Super League (also known as Africa Football League). The CAF Champions League will be their fifth competition this season.
This reason, more than footballing reasons, makes the North African teams the worst opponents for Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2023/24 CAF Champions League group stages.
CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup group stage draw. 🌍⚽️
Host city: Johannesburg. 🇿🇦
Date: 6 October 2023. Friday.
Time: 10:00 GMT / 13:00 RSA
First draw: Confederation Cup
Second draw: Champions League
Live on: CAF YouTube Channel
What are your expectations?… pic.twitter.com/HWhr8Kw5Y6
— Micky Jnr (@MickyJnr__) October 4, 2023
Mamelodi Sundowns best opponents
The South African giants will hope to meet Sudanese side Al Hilal (Pot 3). Both teams have a shared history in CAF competitions. For Masandawana, being grouped against Al Hilala will be a case of facing familiar foes as opposed to tackling new ones.
They will also fancy their chances with Ghana’s Medeama SC, who are debutants in the competition. Botswanian team Jwaneng Galaxy will also present the least logistical worries for Mamelodi Sundowns because of the proximity between both countries. There is also very little chance of the Brazilians falling to Galaxy, which could increase their chances of getting to the knockouts of the 2023/24 CAF Champions League.
The best opponents for Mamelodi Sundowns will be Simba SC (Tanzania), Al Hilal (Sudan) and Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana). Simba and Galaxy are closer to them (logistics-wise) while Al Hilal are familiar opponents.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago