A mouth-watering North African semi-final awaits this Sunday as Wydad Casablanca host Tunisian giants Esperance in the first leg of their African Football League (AFL) last four tie.
The continental heavyweights face off at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca at 18:00 GMT for the right to advance to the inaugural AFL final.
And with a rich history of competing in major CAF club finals, this latest Morocco vs Tunisia clash promises to be an enthralling encounter.
“On Sunday, the attention of African football fans will be directed towards Casablanca,” Wydad coach Adel Ramzy said.
“Each club strives to win the first leg, hoping to get closer to the AFL final which both teams salivate over.”
Wydad and Esperance have built an intense continental rivalry having met four times in TotalEnergies CAF Champions League finals since 2017.
Esperance won the most recent tie in the 2018-19 showpiece, progressing 1-0 on aggregate.
But Ramzy insists Wydad are firmly focused on making home advantage count when they renew acquaintances with their arch-nemesis this weekend.
“We will enter the match ecstatic after the quarter-final victory over Enyimba. We insist on achieving victory at home to maintain qualification chances for the difficult return leg,” he said.
However, Espérance coach Tariq Thabet is plotting an away triumph to seize early control of the semi-final.
“We move with great ambition and desire to achieve a surprise, and at least avoid defeat,” Thabet said, wary of Wydad’s fearsome home support.
With both clubs desperate to reach the final and etch their names in AFL folklore, their first leg duel promises to be an engrossing spectacle.
An electric atmosphere is anticipated with the Mohammed V Stadium sure to be rocking as the old foes renew hostilities.
While Wydad eye home comforts, Esperance will look to ride their underdog status to steal an advantage before returning to Tunis for the second leg.