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MBABANE – The country’s Total CAF Champions League envoys Mbabane Swallows are out to maintain their bright start in the group stages of Africa’s premier club competition when they welcome Angola’s Club Desportivo 1 de Agosto.

The red and white ensemble are playing outside their ‘happy hunting ground’ in Somhlolo National Stadium, but have managed to grind the results on the road in previous CAF matches.

Mavuso Sports Centre will be a new home for Thabo ‘Koki’ Vilakati’s men in their bid to conquer Africa.
It is like an arranged marriage, as the sides are meeting for the first time. With all teams in the group on one point, a win for the hosts will propel them to the top spot.

Fresh from the credible 1-all draw away at Zesco, another Southern Africa side stand in the way of the ‘Beautiful Birds’.  

Interestingly, both teams have lost only one match in this CAF campaign. Swallows were defeated 1-3 by Bantu FC of Lesotho in the return match of the first hurdle, but survived the scare on away goals. In the last round before the group stages, Club Desportivo needed the dreaded lottery to shake off South Africa’s Bidvest Wits after each team won by 1-0 at home.

The home side should brace themselves for another physical contest. The visitors also boast aerial strength.  However, Swallows will obviously be a match for the opposition because of their tactical prowess, and remain one of the local sides that boast mileage to survive any game.

The return of lanky forward Sandile Hlatshwako from suspension will boost the firepower upfront.
It promises to be an interesting Southern Africa derby.

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