While Kaizer Chiefs are floundering, Wydad Casablanca are flying high

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Reeve Frosler Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs
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The change of venue from Morocco to west Africa was due to the north African country not being prepared to issue travel visas to the Chiefs contingent
There could not be much more of a stark difference in form as Kaizer Chiefs head into Sunday evening's Caf Champions League Group C encounter with Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca.

The match will take place at the Stade du 4 Aout 1983 Stadium in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with kick-off set for 18:00 South African time.

While the neutral venue could potentially be to Amakhosi's advantage, that may not be enough to paper over their concerning recent form.

Going into Sunday's match in Ouagadougou, Gavin Hunt's side are winless in their last seven matches in all competitions - four draws, three defeats.

A tale of two strikers

They have also only managed to score five goals in those seven matches, and the man who at one point looked like being Chiefs' saviour when he returned from injury, Samir Nurkovic, is without a goal in his last nine games.

Wydad don't have any such problems and they will be full of confidence having won their last six matches. During that period they've scored 11 goals and conceded four.

Moroccan international marksman Ayoub El Kaabi, on loan from Chinese top-flight club Hebei China Fortune, is leading the team from the front and already has two Champions League goals this season to add to the four he tallied in the last campaign.

He has also netted in each of his team's last four matches and has five goals in that period. Prolific throughout his career, the 27-year-old has 14 goals in 18 internationals for Morocco and would be a good bet to get on the score-sheet against either Daniel Akpeyi or Itumeleng Khune in goal for Chiefs.

African pedigree

Individual and collective form aside, Wydad are a club with a massive amount of pedigree and success on the African continent, while the Glamour Boys are competing in the group phase for the first time ever.

The team from Casablanca reached the semi-finals last season, were runners up the year before that, as well as in 2011. Wydad beat Egyptian side Al Ahly in the 2017 Champions League final and also won it in 1992.

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Based on Chiefs' current form, a 0-0 draw would probably be the best they can realistically hope for.

That was the scoreline last weekend in their opening Group C match, against less illustrious opponents in Guinea side Horoya FC, and at home at the FNB Stadium. A stalemate in Burkina Faso would at least keep the struggling Soweto side in with a fighting chance of qualifying for the next round.

 

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