Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Free State Stars all kick off their quest for continental glory this week in the Caf Champions League and Caf Confederations Cup qualifiers.
As none of the South African clubs were given a bye through to the next stage, they will have to play the maximum number of fixtures over what is a gruelling six-month campaign if they are to reach the showpiece events.
For Pirates and Sundowns, who will be playing in the Champions League, they will have at least another 16 games added to the already crammed domestic fixture should they go all the way.
Whereas for the Confederations Cup duo, Stars and Chiefs, a potential 18 extra games could be added on to their schedules between now and May.
It is not just the number of fixtures which make continental success so difficult, but also the amount of travelling done in a short space of time, which tests the strength in depth of the South African teams.
Pirates have been given a favourable draw, as they come up against Seychelles side Light Stars at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday‚ beaten by Bidvest Wits 9-0 on aggregate in the Confederation Cup two years ago.
Sredojevic, however, is not taking his opponents lightly, ‘I have seen the draw for our team. I believe it’s competitive. We want to take one step at a time. There is no easy opponent anymore. We need to respect every opponent‚’ he told reporters.
The return leg will then be in the Seychelles on the week of the 4th of December.
Mamelodi Sundowns will be up against Equatorial Guinean side Leones Vegetarianos Fútbol Club away from home in the first leg on Wednesday as they begin their quest to replicate their Champions League success from 2016. The second leg place will take place in Pretoria on the 4th of December.
Chiefs begin their Confed Cup campaign on Wednesday against Zanzibar’s Zimamoto at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, with the second leg taking place in Zanzibar on Wednesday 5 December.
Nedbank Cup winners Free State Stars will make their debut in the competition against Rwandan outfit Mukura, starting with the home leg on Wednesday before travelling for the second leg on the week of the 4th of December.
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