Nigeria’s only surviving club in CAF competitions this year, Enyimba FC of Aba, will face ES Setif of Algeria in matchday three of the CAF Confederation Cup this afternoon. This tie is the 37th time in the history of CAF Club Competitions between Enyimba and the North African side.
The fixture billed for today at the Enyimba Stadium will see the Elephants try to seek redemption after a late capitulation in Soweto on matchday two.
Enyimba has experienced good fortunes whenever they have faced Algeria’s sides on the continent, stretching back to the fairytale maiden Champions League triumph in 2003.
In 2003, Enyimba FC held USM Algiers to a 1-1 draw in Algeria (1st Leg Sem-final CAFCL). The same year, Enyimba FC defeated USM Algiers 2-1 in Aba (2nd Leg Semi-final CAFCL).
In 2019, Enyimba FC lost 1-0 to Paradou AC at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker (Group Stage CAFCC), and in 2020, the Aba side trounced Paradou AC 4-1 in Aba (Group Stage CAFCC)
Enyimba and ES Setif have never met before. In the 2016 edition of the CAF Champions League, both teams were paired in Group B, alongside Zamalek and Mamelodi Sundowns.
However, the Algerians were disqualified from the tournament by CAF for fans’ pitch invasion.
Tough time for Coach Fatai Osho as the likes of winger Sadiq Abubakar and left-back Imoh Obot remain ruled out with varying injuries. Also, center-back, Hassan Abubakar joins the treatment table with a toothache.
However, there is good news as the club welcomes Anayo Iwuala, John Noble, and Nabil Yarou from international duties.
Speaking ahead of today’s clash, coach Fatai said: “ES Setif has a point from six, and they know if they don’t add to that tally it will be a bit difficult for them. A loss to us (Enyimba) will be a point from a possible nine, so we expect them to come all out to fight. On our part, we know we need the maximum points so that we can keep our position on the table and see what we can get on the road. It’s going to be a feisty affair. Both teams will be coming in with a lot of ambition and that is what we expect.”
Enyimba is currently second in group A with three points from two games, while ES Setif is bottom with only one point from two matches.