CAF Champions League 2015 – preview and predictions

Who will win the African Champions League?

Abdul Musa: USM Alger or Al Hilal.

Lotfi Oluwada: On paper, and in terms of qualities, I would say TP Mazembe, but they have a very average coach so it balances their power.

Maher Mezahi: TP Mazembe. Don’t think they’ll face much competition besides ES Setif and USM Alger.

Salim Masoud Said: I’ll go for TP Mazembe, though they are not massive favourites. They’ll need to be more disciplined away from home.

Which team will flatter to deceive?

Abdul: Al Merreikh – fans are so confident they will win the trophy just because they knocked out Esperance. Can’t wait to enjoy their disappointment.

Lotfi: I fear for Sétif due to the departure of key players like Lagraa, Demou and Mellouli.

Maher: I think Al Merreikh will really struggle against the three Algerian clubs. Expect them to crash out early.

Salim: They are the defending champions but was never quite convinced about ES Setif. They seem to have lost a few major players too.

The Surprise Package?

Abdul: Smouha: Struggling in the Egyptian league but managed to eliminate the likes of AC Leopard, Enyimba and Ahly Benghazi – 3 giants of African football.

Lotfi: Why not Hilal ? Regular semi finalists who needs to hit the jackpot after years of semi finals! Or USM Alger!

Maher: Maybe MC El Eulma. They play really attractive football and their squad are experienced. Can seriously aspire to play the semi-finals.

Salim: Al Merreikh. Good team on paper, experienced coach in Diego Garzitto. If they knocked out Esperance there is no reason they can’t knock out the teams they’re facing – and they have the potential to be very good at home.

Top goalscorer?

Abdul: Would of said Iajour but he is leaving. Going to bet on Boubakar Kebe who already has 3 goals for Al Hilal.

Lotfi: Mohsin Iajour and his 6 goal tally could stay on the top. But if not I would say a Mazembe man with 7-8 goals!

Maher: From the group stages onwards I believe it will be Roger Assale or Mohamed Benyettou.

Salim: The Tanzanian Tiger Mbwana Samatta!

Three players to watch?

Abdul: Youcef Belaili (USMA), Augustine Okrah (Al Merriekh) and Mourtda Fall (Maghreb Tetouan).

Lotfi: Roger Assalé Youssef Belaili and Augustine Okrah!

Maher: Youcef Belaili, Ibrahim Chenihi (if he stays at El Eulma). Both are incredibly gifted players, probably two of the best attacking midfielders in North Africa. Senegalese centre-half Mourtada Fall at Tetouan is also worth keeping an eye on.

Salim: Roger Assale, Gladson Awako (TP Mazembe) and Bakri Al Madina (Al Merriekh)

You are all African Football Experts and will be looking forward to watching each and every single match. But which match are you looking forward to watching the most?

Abdul: Al Hilal v TP Mazembe on the 8th August because I’ll be in the stadium.

Lotfi: As there are no Sudanese derby I would say ES Sétif v USM Alger.

Maher: Both legs of El Eulma versus Setif will be great as it’s a derby. Only twenty-five kilometres separate the two Algerian outfits.

Salim: Al Hilal v TP Mazembe in Omdurman, also looking forward to El Eulma vs ES Setif.

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