Etoile Sahel's winning streak threatened
by Mark Gleeson in Johannesburg
Tunisia's Etoile Sahel's unbeaten record in the group phase of the African Confederation Cup will be tested in Kinshasa on Saturday when they meet FC St Eloi Lupopo of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Etoile Sahel, runners-up in the last two editions of the African Champions League, have won their first three matches to open up a three point lead over compatriots Esperance in Group B.
They travel to Congo without their injured Brazilian striker Dos Santos but have been boosted by the decision of the Confederation of African Football this month to ban Lupopo's home ground in Lubumbashi because of the kidnapping of a visiting club official earlier in the year.
Lupopo will encounter as much hostility as the Tunisians in Kinshasa because of the traditional domestic rivalries.
Esperance can keep up the pressure on Etoile Sahel if they win away in Malabo on Sunday against Renacimiento of Equatorial Guinea, who have lost all three of their previous encounter and conceded 13 goals in the process.
Aymen Ltifi, the top goal scorer in the Tunisian league last season, returns to the Esperance traveling squad after injury.
Holders Royal Armed Forces of Morocco lead in Group A by a single point from compatriots Olympique Khourigba.
Both Moroccans side play in Luanda at the weekend against Angolan opposition.
Khouribga face a difficult tie on Saturday against Petro Atlético, who must win to keep up their chance of finishing top of the standings and progressing to the final in November.
The army team are up against InterClube, who have lost all three of their encounters in the group, and fired Portuguese coach Romeu Silva last week.
His replacement, former Penafiel coach Manuel Fernandes is expected to arrive from Portugal before the game on Sunday
Manuel Fernandes is one of my childhood heroes, a great Sporting striker
I wish him all the best in Angola!