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CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: BUILDING UP TO THE BIG ONE

Champions League

Will it be Kaizer Chiefs’ first win or will Al Ahly, coached by Pitso Mosimane, claim an incredible 10th title when they face off in the CAF Champions League final in Morocco on Saturday?

Chiefs are aiming to emulate Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns as winners of the continent’s biggest prize but have a formidable foe standing between them and putting a star on their crest.

“To our fans, we promise that we will come back with the star,” goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma boldly declared ahead of the team’s departure for Casablanca, Morocco on Wednesday.

Bvuma’s confidence is no doubt sky high after playing in three of Amakhosi’s last four games in this competition with two clean sheets in that period.

The shot-stopper is vying for a spot in the starting lineup against veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune , who travels along with Khama Billiat, Lebogang Manyama, Bernard Parker and Samir Nurkovic.

“I am happy to have gotten the opportunity to play for Kaizer Chiefs and be able to be part of the team to play against Al Ahly in the final. As we all know, the Champions League is a big competition here in Africa.”

Veteran midfielder Willard Katsande, who will become the most capped foreign player in the club’s history on the weekend, believes something special is brewing.

“Going into the cup final, we have been sharpening our swords and cooking up something very big,” says Katsande.

“As a Kaizer Chiefs family, we believe in ourselves, in our philosophy and in what we are going to dish out on match day. We have worked very hard in camp. The technical team is doing everything to ensure they make our roles as simple as possible and that everyone knows what is expected of them. The unity within the team is very strong. We have always been tight, but now we are even closer and we are all singing the same song.

“You can feel the spirit, it is not normal. It is something very strong. We have been putting in the work and the guys are ready. We are going to be on another level of thinking when we take the plane to Morocco,” says Katsande.

The opposition are on an unbeaten run of 10 games and are the defending champions. They have a full squad to choose from and arrived one day earlier than their South African counterparts.

Al Ahly’s last match against Chiefs, in the CAF Super Cup in 2002, was a stroll as they won 4-1.

Saturday’s final kicks off at 9pm.

Opening odds see Al Ahly installed as 1.69 favourites with Kaizer Chiefs available at 4.86 and the draw in 90 minutes at 3.40.

Bet on the CAF Champions League final

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