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Confédération Africaine de Football

08/16/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/16/2018 03:40

Mbabane Swallows in sink or swim battle 16 August 2018

16 August 2018 10:16

It is either sink or swim for Mbabane Swallows when they come face to face with the possible exit reality against visiting Zambia campaigners Zesco United in a Day Five clash at Mavuso Sports Centre on Saturday.

Coach Thabo Vilakati believes the race to the quarter finals is not over and indeed mathematically either Primeiro de Agosto or Mbabane Swallows could join already qualified Etoile du Sahel at the last eight.

'As we prepare for the match against Zesco we know we still can qualify for the quarter finals. It's not over for us thus a win over Zesco on Saturday is so important. We just have to put the Etoile disappointment behind us and focus on the task at hand.

'It will not come any easier against the Zambian side. It was very close in the 1-1 draw in Ndola and we should equally expect a close tie on Saturday. The boys are aware of it and know what is expected of them especially the expectations from the fans,' Vilakati said.

The Swazi champions are sweating over the fitness of Mandla Palmer who hobbled out of the EPTC Charity Cup a fortnight ago having returned to training this week.

Buoyed by the season opening EPTC Charity Cup triumph a fortnight ago, the Vilakati- coached will seek to restore their quarter finals dream back on track after suffering two consecutive defeats to Tunisia giants Etoile du Sahel.

A win for Swallows will lift them to seven points setting a winner takes all scenario in next week's group stage closing Match Day Six when they travel to Luanda to face Primeiro de Agosto.

Having lost four of their key stars - Sandile Ginindza, Felix Badernhost, Banele Sikhondze and Sanele Mkhweli - in the last month, Swallows will turn to rising star Richard Mcreesh who grabbed the goal in the 1-1 draw in Ndola away to Zesco.

The other hope will fall on Aledeon Kola who made brilliant but non scoring Swallows debut against Etoile in Tunisia last month but most importantly the 12th player - the Swazi nationals on the terraces - could make a bigger difference by creating that carnival atmosphere and undo the visitors from the terraces.

Fixtures

Group A

17.08.2018 19H00 Tunis Esperance (Tunisia) vs Al Ahly (Egypt)

18.08.2018 13H00 Kampala KCCA (Uganda) vs Rollers (Botswana)

Group B

17.08.2018 19H00 Setif ES Setif (Algeria) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo)

18.08.2018 19H00 El Jadidi Difaa El Jadidi (Morocco) vs MC Alger (Algeria)

Group C

17.08.2018 16H00 Conakry Horoya (Guinea) vs AS Port (Togo)

17.08.2018 19H00 Casablanca Wydad (Morocco) vs Sundowns (South Africa)

Group D

18.08.2018 13H00 Manzini Swallows (Swaziland) vs Zesco (Zambia)

18.08.2018 19H00 Sousse Etoile (Tunisia) vs Primeiro de Agosto (Angola)