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Holders Etoile Sahel face a difficult tie away in Zimbabwe on Sunday when they continue the defence of their African Champions League crown against Dynamos in Harare.
The Tunisian side, who won their first Champions League title last year, are among eight former winners of Africa's top club prize seeking to advance past the third round and into the group phase, which kicks off in July.
Etoile's French coach Bertrand Marchand, who has turned down the chance to take over as Tunisia coach, can choose from a full-strength squad for the first time in months, but will be mindful that Dynamos beat them 1-0 in the group phase a decade ago.
Clubs from north Africa are likely again to dominate in the last knockout round with a real chance that all eight qualifiers for the group phase will come from Arabic-speaking countries.
Zamalek, who went second in the Egyptian championship on Tuesday, have a home tie in Cairo tomorrow against Angola's InterClube.
Libya's Al Ittihad, surprise semifinalists last year along with Al Hilal of Sudan, have a home match against three-time winners TP Mazembe Englebert.
Al Hilal host South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, whose domestic form has been on an upturn after a disappointing start to their league season.
"It's very important to get a result, considering we want to go as far as possible in the competition," Sundowns midfielder Brent Carelse said on the eve of his team's departure.
Tunisia's Club Africain will be without striker Oussema Sellami for their match away to Enyimba of Nigeria, title winners in 2003 and 2004, on Sunday. - Reuters