Mamelodi Sundowns will not be given a top seeding for Wednesday’s African Champions League draw and face the possibility of being paired with record winners Al Ahly of Egypt‚ holders Wydad Casablanca or perennial irritant TP Mazembe Englebert of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As the winner of the trophy in 2016 and quarter-finalists last year‚ Sundowns were expected to be placed in pot one for the draw along with the three other big guns.
But the Confederation of African Football have made Etoile Sahel of Tunisia the other top seed instead.
Sundowns are in pot two for the draw‚ along with Esperance of Tunisia‚ Entente Setif from Algeria and Zesco United from Zambia.
The only guarantee then for Sundowns at the draw is the fact they will not be drawn against any of the other three teams in pot 2.
There are another two pots‚ with four teams each‚ and if Sundowns are fortunate they might well find they play both Mbabane Swallows (pot 3) and Botswana’s Township Rollers (pot 4) in their group.
CAF will also conduct the draw for the third round of the Confederation Cup where the 16 second round winners are each paired against one of the 16 losers from the second round of the Champions League last weekend.
CAF have changed the format of the draw and established a measure of seeding which means the likelihood that SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits are drawn against each has been increased by 50 percent.
They now have a one in eight chance of meeting each other in a first-ever South African derby in African club competition.
Wednesday’s draw‚ being conducted at a plush Cairo hotel‚ starts at 7pm and is being televised by SuperSport.
The third round of Confederation Cup matches are being played on the weekend of April 6-8 with the return games 10 days later in midweek on April 17-18.
Sundowns will begin the group phase of the Champions League in May and play two rounds before going off on their holidays and then returning for the resumption of the group phase in July.