With CAF’s new competition set for kick-off on Friday, October 20, who are the African Football League favourites?
Eight clubs are jostling for the $4 million prize money for the competition. They are some of the best sides on the continent and should give fans plenty of value.
The eight clubs come from various African regions and represent the best of the continent in the African Football League.
Enyimba will fly Nigeria and West Africa’s flag, while Petro de Luanda (Angola) and TP Mazembe (DRC) are from Central Africa.
North Africa has some heavyweights representing the region. They include Al Ahly (Egypt), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) and Espérance de Tunis (Tunisia). East Africa has Simba of Tanzania.
To rank these illustrious African clubs, the unanswered question is, who are the African Football League favourites?
1st leg quarterfinal fixtures of the maiden African Football League will start tomorrow, Friday and end on Sunday.
2nd leg games will be played between October 24 and 25.
— ⬅️ #JoySports (@JoySportsGH) October 19, 2023
Ranking the African Football League favourites
During the draws for the competition, the teams were in two pots according to their performance on the continent.
While Enyimba, Petro de Luanda, Simba and TP Mazembe were in pot two, the others were in pot one, showing who the African Football League favourites are.
However, we will try and do proper justice to it in this piece. Meet our African Football League teams.
8 – Enyimba
In the club ranking for the 2023/24 CAF club season, Enyimba is ranked 33 with a total of ten points.
The People’s Elephants have domestic and continental credibility, with two CAF Champions League titles. The Aba warlords recently crashed out of the CAF Champions League and would hope to use this competition to bounce back.
7 – Petro de Luanda
The Angolan League champions are a known quantity in African football. The 17-time Angola league champions made it as far as the group stage of the CAF Champions League last season.
They failed to progress from the group stage. Petro de Luanda has yet to win any continental trophy but is a force to be feared.
6 – TP Mazembe
The Congolese side is another club with a rich African history. They might not be among the top African Football League favourites, but they are a force to reckon with.
They made it to the CAF Champions League group stage after a 5-0 aggregate victory over Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi. They are in Group A with Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania) and Pyramids (Egypt).
TP Mazembe has won the CAF Champions League five times, with their last win in 2015. They also have two CAF Confederation Cup titles (2016, 2017) and were runners-up in the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup.
Last year, they crashed into the CAF Confederation Cup but still finished bottom of their group.
5 – Simba
It is difficult to talk about CECAFA club football without mentioning Simba of Tanzania. They have won the regional title six times and remained prominent on the continent.
They are ranked ninth in Africa but are not as big a force as they used to be. Their best finish in a CAF competition was in 1993, where they finished as runners-up in the CAF Cup.
Simba finished as the Tanzanian League runners-up behind Young Africans.
4 – Mamelodi Sundowns
The Masandawana are ranked fourth in Africa. The record Premier Soccer League winners have appeared consistently in the Champions League since 2015.
Their worst finish since 2019 was in the quarter-finals. Last season, they reached the semi-finals, where they lost on away goals rule to Wydad Casablanca after a second leg 2-2 draw.
The 2016 Champions are one of the African Football League favourites.
3 – Espérance de Tunis
With 56 points, Espérance is ranked third in Africa. The four-time CAF Champions League winners are no pushovers and should be ranked one of the top African Football League favourites.
The 2021/22 Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 champions have been a constant feature on the continent. Since 1999, they have rarely missed the CAF Champions League and are the record winners of the Tunisian League and Cup.
They lost 4-0 on aggregate to the eventual winners of the CAF Champions League, Al Ahly, in the 2022/23 season.
2 – Wydad Casablanca
The record Moroccan Botola League champions are a massive force in Africa. With 74 points, they are ranked second in Africa.
It is enough to make them join the list of African Football League favourites. The Moroccan club have three CAF Champions League titles, with the latest coming in 2022.
They reached the 2023 final, where they lost to Al Ahly 3-2 on aggregate. It is hard to overlook Wydad Casablanca as possible champions of the inaugural edition of the African Football League.
1 – Al Ahly
The Egyptian side is the highest-ranked side in Africa. The current Champions League winners are African Football League favourites.
The Egyptian champions are a club of records. Here are some of the titles they hold records.
Egyptian Premier League (43), Egypt Cup (38), Egyptian Super Cup (13), CAF Champions League (11), African Cup Winners' Cup (4) and the CAF Super Cup (8).
There is not much to say about the Egyptian behemoth other than, who can stop them?
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago