25.02.2016 07:00 h

Snakes and ladders as Enyimba face Vipers

Two-time African champions Enyimba will be under pressure to overturn a shock loss at SC Vipers of Uganda so as to advance to the first round of the continent's biggest club competition.

Vipers marked their debut in the Champions League a fortnight ago when they won 1-0 in Kampala, but they face a tougher task in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt on Sunday against the seven-time Nigeria champions.

The overall winners of this match-up will face the winners of the game between Liolo FC (Lesotho) and Vital'O (Burundi) in the next round in March.

Vipers' experienced defender Yusuf Mukisa said they are confident they can progress to the next round at the expense of Enyimba.

"We have prepared ourselves well and know that we don't have the pedigree, but our confidence will inspire us to win," Mukisa told his club's website.

Mukisa's confidence was based on the return to training of Siraj Sentamu, Shafik Bakaki and Ismail Watenga, who all missed the first leg through injuries.

"Perhaps the return of experienced players such as Watenga will be an incentive for us, we need to be solid as well," he added.

But Enyimba goalkeeper Femi Thomas predicted "The People's Elephant" will put away the chances they after they failed to do in the first leg in Uganda.

"We have been playing good football, people who have watched our games can testify to that. It's just that the goals are not coming. But I am assuring our fans that will change from our next match, which will be against Vipers in a CAF Champions League game," he assured.

South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns are another team who will have to make the most of their home advantage this weekend after they were upset 1-0 by Zimbabwe's Chicken Inn in the first encounter in Bulawayo.

Uganda international goalkeeper Denis Onyango said "The Brazilians", as the South Africa league leaders are known by their fans, will win on Saturday under floodlights in Pretoria to move to the next round of the competition.

"It was not good that we lost in Zimbabwe. They caught us on the counter as they were sitting back when we attacked them," he said.

"We know it's not over yet because they are still coming here. That was just like the first half of the game. Now, we have to go back and change the results in the second leg."

Saint George of Ethiopia, Kaizer Chiefs from South Africa, V Club from DR Congo and Recreativo Libolo of Angola are expected to advance to the next round after they recorded convincing wins in their respective first leg encounters two weeks ago.

Nigeria's Warri Wolves and Ferravario Maputo from Mozambique have already qualified for the first round after they enjoyed walkovers.

Defending champions TP Mazembe, Etoile du Sahel from Tunisia as well as Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Zamalek will all feature in the first round of the competition between March 11-20 after they were handed byes.