Photo: Rabat’s last training session at the Siaka Stevens stadium in Freetown on Friday ahead of the first leg of the CAF Champions League match against FC Johansen.

Matchday: The 2016 FA Cup Champions, FC Johansen, have set sights on victory at home later today when they square up against their guests FUS Rabat from Morocco at the Siaka Steven Stadium.

The club owned by the President of Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Isha Johansen is one of the 46 teams looking to go past the preliminary stage of this year’s annual international club football competition run by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Soccer fans are upbeat that a comfortable victory for the home team will make the return fixture at the Stade de FUS, in Rabat a mere formality.

However, this is a game that is expected to be a cracker – the Moroccans on paper are very experienced in continental football, they were last season’s Confederation cup Semi-finalist, five times top-flight titles at home.

And despite Rabat’s unconvincing run in their domestic league this season, they are one of the only five Moroccan teams that succeeded to have African titles following their 2010 triumph in CAF Confederation Cup.

The Rabat-based club in recent years has been a regular in Africa’s elite’s competitions.

Unlike their hosts, back in 2013, Johansen – then debutants in the CAF confederation were eliminated by Barrack YC II following a 1-0 aggregate defeat.

James Sandy explained why Johansen will be a force as a debutant in this year’s CAF Champions League: “We are indeed very glad to be part of this competition and hopefully we shall not disappoint.

“The team has been together now for few years under head coach John Keister, and three or four of the lads were part of recent qualifiers with the National team. They’ve already exposed to this type of atmosphere and with the home theory a convincing victory is what we are targeting,” he passionately told footballsierraleone.net.

Bobson Sesay another fan was more pragmatic on his views: “We know is not going to be that easy, I believe that we have all it takes to achieve our target against our visitors. “We know that they are a good side but we are at home – playing with confident, but let see what happens.”

According to reports, Keister’s men are physically, mentally and psychologically prepared for this encounter but only a victory will boost their chances in Rabat.

The winner will play either side – the Ghanaian champions Wa All Stars or the Libyan outfit Al Ahly Tripoli in March.

Follow the writer @bittar32 Contact bi****@ol*.net

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