Wydad Casablanca v Togo Port Preview & Tips: Champions to claim home win against Togolese minnows

Casablanca set to kick-start title defence with dominant home win
Champions Wydad Casablanca set to pick up first win in title defence (FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)

Wydad Casablanca v Togo Port Preview & Tips


Wydad Casablanca welcome Togo Port to the Stade Mohammed V in the CAF Champions League. The reigning champions are looking to kick-start their title defence after a tough opening draw with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Wydad Casablanca


Wydad were held to a 1-1 draw by Mamelodi Sundowns in their opening group match of the competition. Ismail El Haddad cancelled out Badr Gaddarine’s third minute own goal to earn the Moroccans a point in South Africa.

The North African side head into the tie in good form having not tasted defeat in their last 10 matches in all competitions. They secured a 1-1 draw away at OC Safi in their last league match which left them third in the Botola Pro table, four points off leaders Ittihad Tanger. 

The hosts pride themselves on swift counter attacking play with El Haddad and Amin Tighazoui running down the flanks. Both men have 8 goals between them this season and will be the ones to provide the spark for Wydad.

Manager Faouzi Benzarti has a fully fit squad to pick from and will likely name an unchanged side. El Haddad and Tighazoui are expected to retain their place in the starting 11, while defenders Amine Attouchi, Mohammed Nahiri and Cheick Ibrahim Comara should retain their places at the back.

Togo Port 


The CAF Champions League debutantes were beaten 2-1 at home by AS Horoya which left them bottom of Group C. Defender Issifou Bourahana got the only goal for Port in a disappointing match.

Port are also struggling domestically with just one win in their last five Championnat National matches. However, they are still fourth in the table, four points off the pace thanks to a 3-0 win over Agaza in their last league match.

Following the defeat to Horoya, manager Ayivi Ekouevi is expected to make several changes to the team. Kokou Kloukpo could be handed a start after coming off the bench against the Guinean club, but defender Bourahana is expected to retain his place in defence despite fitness concerns.

Match-Up 


Wydad are the defending champions of this competition and the form side coming into this clash. They will view their opening day draw as a blip, one they would be keen to put right.

The pace and precision of their offensive play will trouble the away side who are still finding their feet among Africa’s elite clubs.
The Casablanca based outfit have quality all over the pitch with a solid defence, compact midfield and a potent attack. They should be too strong for the debutants.


Key Statistics


  • Wydad Casablanca have won 8 of their last 9 home matches (All Competitions).
  • Wydad Casablanca have won 13 of their last 14 home matches (CAF Champions League).
  • Togo Port have won 1 of their last 8 away matches (All Competitions).
  • Togo Port have conceded in 15 of their last 19 away matches (All Competitions).

Verdict


Togo Port are making their debut on the continent and have no experience at this level. They should be no match for the defending champions.

Best Bet: Wydad Casablanca win and Over 2.5 goals at 2.20
Eric Smith 15 May 2018

CAF Champions League Previews & Tips