Caf Confederation Cup Group B preview: El Kaabi headline Group B

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RS Berkane and Morocco international striker Ayoub El Kaabi will be the man to watch when his side host Sudanese giants Al-Hilal

This is the opening game in the Caf Confederation Cup group B on Sunday.

Arguably the best Africa-based striker at the moment, El Kaabi will certainly top Al-Hilal’s list of worries at the Stade Municipal de Berkane with the home side making their debut in the competition.

After netting an awe-inspiring nine goals at the Chan tournament earlier this year, the highest ever individual tally at the tournament, El Kaabi suddenly became a goal-scoring sensation on the continent.

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His terrific form of 10 goals in eight games for Morocco this year alone, including during March’s international friendly match against Uzbekistan has now almost guaranteed him a World Cup berth.

The 24-year-old’s case has also been aided by the four goals he has so far managed in the Confederation Cup, giving Al-Hill enough reason to treat him as a genuine concern.

The Berkane are just newboys in the tournament and they could be overshadowed by El Kaabi for the perennial CAF inter-club contestants, Al-Hilal.

The Moroccans passed their biggest test of their African campaign so far by eliminating Tunisian giants Club Africain 4-1 on aggregate in the first round with Togo’s Generation Foot and Mbour Petite Cote of Senegal also falling victims to them.

Berkane are yet to lose at home in this competition in which they have scored 10 goals in six games.

Al-Hilal on the other hand have not been good travellers, losing all their three away matches on the continent this season.

They went down 3-1 to Akwa United in Nigeria in the play-offs second leg but fortunately reached the group stages on away goals after a 2-0 home win.

The Sudanese were initially in the Champions League where they were kicked out by Togo Port following an away 2-0 defeat which demoted them to the Confederation Cup.

They also succumbed 1-0 away to Liberian side LISCR earlier in the Champions League preliminaries before a home win sailed them through to the next round.

Elsewhere in Group B, Egyptian outfit Al-Masry welcome UD Songo of Mozambique in Port Said.

Both sides failed to make headway from the earlier stages of the same competition last season and will this time around be seeking to leave their mark.

Coached by Egypt football great Hossam Hassan, Al-Masry dumped Zambian side Green Buffaloes, Simba of Tanzania and Gabon’s Mounana on their way to the mini-league stage.

Having managed to avoid defeat so far, Al-Masry will fancy their chances on Sunday against the Mozambicans who in reaching the group stages lost two away games including a 4-0 demolition by giants TP Mazembe in Lumbumbashi.

UD Songo who started their African season in the Champions League had to thank the away goals advantage over Al-Hilal El Obayed of Sudan in the play-offs to storm into the Confederations Cup group stage for the first time ever.

They landed in Egypt on Friday in two batches with hopes to cause an upset with a first ever away win.

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