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Otoho d'Oyo: Who are Mamelodi Sundowns' Caf Champions League opponents?

12:35 GMT+3 11/08/2019
Mamelodi Sundowns Pitso Mosimane August 2019
Masandawana begin their Caf Champions League campaign this weekend, and here's everything you need to know about their opponents

The Caf Champions League preliminary rounds get underway this weekend, and Mamelodi Sundowns certainly have their hands full with a tough tie against Otoho d’Oyo of the Republic of Congo.

The clash will be a test of character for Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane and his men, as they have only recently began their domestic season but were comfortable winners as they brushed aside rivals SuperSport United 2-0 this weekend.

However, focus now shifts as Sundowns move onto the continent and prepare for a tough contest against the Congolese champions.

Where is the clash?

The match is set for Stade Omnisport Marien Ngouabi d'Owando, the venue of choice during African competition for the home team. 

The stadium has a capacity of over 13,000 and is considerably bigger than their other home ground, the Complexe Omnisports d’Oyo. However, this change comes at a price, as the club are deprived of the intimate atmosphere they would have enjoyed in Oyo.

Nonetheless, Otoho have made their home grounds a fortress; only two of their previous 10 home games in all competitions have ended in defeats.

No strangers to Caf Competitions

Otoho are two-time Congo Premier League champions, and this has seen them feature in the last two editions of the continental showpiece.

However, they've struggled to truly assert themselves amongst Africa's best. 

On both previous appearances in the continent’s top tier competition, Otoho fell short in the qualifying rounds, which should come as a major worry for them considering Sundowns’ history in the tournament over recent years.

Last term, however, Otoho used the opportunity of falling out of the Champions League and into the Confederation Cup as they reached the group stage of the competition and put on a valiant showing as they came up against some of North Africa’s more formidable sides.

They will hope to utilise the experienced gained playing in hostile atmospheres to seal a path into the next round of the competition.

Trophies and players to watch

Otoho have undoubtedly become giants in their own rights.

After years of dominance by AC Leopards among others, the side hailing from Oyo have narrowed the gap and perhaps even overtaken many to become the best team in the land.

This was asserted by their impressive league-winning tally which saw them finish a whopping 10 points ahead of their closest rivals last term.

In addition, they have achieved this success by building the team around a blend of youth and experience under coach Alou Badra Diallo.

As with most central African sides, Otoho are a physically imposing side filled with technically gifted players.

Thibault Biassadila and Matheus Botamba are two players to look out for; the duo were influential in last season’s Confederation Cup journey, with the former scoring the goal which saw the Central Africans register their only win.

The hopes of the club will rest on both their shoulders again this term.