Rollers plan to rock Chiefs out of Africa
Botswanans Township Rollers are predicting the downfall of South Africans Kaizer Chiefs this weekend even though they have never won a CAF Champions League tie.
Favoured Chiefs snatched a 2-1 preliminary-round, first-leg victory two weeks ago thanks to a stoppage-time header from centre-back Tefu Mashamaite following a corner.
It was not a result that justified the pre-match boast of Chiefs official Bobby Motaung that his club "can compete against anybody in the world".
Rollers have played in the premier African club competition six times and fallen at the first hurdle every time, with the losses including a 7-1 drubbing by Nigerians Shooting Stars.
But Madinda Ndlovu, once the scourage of defences as he launched right-wing raids for Bulawayo club Highlanders and Zimbabwe, believes history can be rewritten Saturday.
A capacity 18,000 crowd is expected at the National Stadium in capital Gaborone and Ndlovu says Rollers are ready to rock Chiefs out of Africa.
"Our ambition is nothing less than victory and a place in the next round," Ndlovu told reporters.
"We know their strengths and weaknesses and have worked hard plotting ways of eliminating them.
"My boys were in awe of Chiefs for half of the first leg only to realise after equalising just after half-time that the South Africans could be beaten."
Rollers were rocked by an early Mathew Rusike goal, but levelled through rising star Segolame Boy.
England-born coach Stuart Baxter is predicting an away victory for a "meaner" Chiefs team.
"We are going to deliver a good professional performance," stressed the former South Africa and Finland handler.
"The crowd in Gaborone will see a much meaner Chiefs side than that which played the first leg.
"I know what to expect now and we have to win this match -- we have to perform better than in Soweto."
Baxter is spoilt for choice when it comes to goalkeepers with fit-again captain Itumeleng Khune challenging 2015 Cup of Nations shot-stopper Brilliant Khuzwayo.
Guineans Kaloum are another club poised to cause a shock having built a 2-1 away advantage over Ivorians Sewe Sport, the 2014 CAF Confederation Cup runners-up.
However, Kaloum cannot enjoy home advantage when the clubs meet Sunday as Guinea are barred from hosting CAF fixtures because of the Ebola epidemic.
Mali capital Bamako will stage the West African derby instead with two Ivorians, coach Francois Zahoui and captain Ben Adama Banh, key Kaloum figures.
And two Malians, Cheick Oumar Ballo and Mandala Conte, scored the goals in Abidjan that stunned a Sewe side that recently lost three stars to Democratic Republic of Congo giants TP Mazembe.
Hyper-ambitious Sudanese side El-Merrikh spared no expense preparing to tackle Champions League debutants Azam from Tanzania.
Lengthy training camps in Egypt and Qatar preceded a warm-up draw with German Bundesliga club Schalke.
But Merrikh were overrun in Dar es Salaam, losing 2-0 to Didier Kavumbago and John Bocco goals, and a 2-0 victory in Omdurman is the minimum requirement for survival.
After a humiliating early exit from the 2014 Club World Cup at home, Moroccans Moghreb Tetouan are staring further disappointment as they trail Malians CO Bamako 2-0 with a home game to come.