The CAF Confederation Cup draw held on Tuesday threw up some tantalizing North-West battles.
Nigeria’s Bendel Insurance returning to the continental scene after a 28-year gap will face Algerian side, ASO Chlef – a tough route to reach the group stage. Nigerian clubsides hardly survive encounters with North Africans.
Should they survive the Algerian challenge, they head back to North Africa to confront former winners RS Berkane of Morocco. Rivers United received a bye through the early rounds.
Another North Africa-West Africa clash will see Morocco’s FUS Rabat facing Benin Republic’s AS Loto.
Another interesting showdown sees Tanzania’s Azam FC travel to Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar Kenema in the pick of the East African clashes.
Elsewhere, Tunisian side Olympique Beja will take on Libya’s Abu Salim, while Sudan’s Al-Hilal are pitted against neighbours Al Merreikh of South Sudan.
Intriguing fixtures include Senegal’s Casa Sports versus Burkina Faso’s EF Ouagadougou.
Debutants across the continent like Arta Solar of Djibouti and Gaborone United of Botswana face daunting openings against seasoned campaigners.
For South Africa’s Sekhukhune United, a tricky test awaits against Eswatini’s Young Buffaloes.
With a place in the lucrative group stage at stake, the Confederation Cup preliminary ties promise plenty of dramatic battles between West and North Africa.
The first leg matches take place on 18-20 August, before the return fixtures a week later determine who progresses.