After suffering a heavy thumping in the second leg of their CAF Champions League clash with Wydad Athletic Club, Hearts of Oak will now play JS Saoura in a bid to secure qualification into the next round of the Confederation Cup.

The Phobians suffered elimination from the Champions League due to an unconvincing display away from home against the Moroccan side.

The Rainbow lads will be looking to represent Ghana in the continental showpiece for the first time, since last doing so in 2004, when they went on to lift the title.

However in Saoura, Hearts play a side that has an impressive home record in the last two years, their last defeat home coming in December 2019 – a 1-0 loss to Bel Abbes in the Algerian Ligue 1.

Since then, the Algerian outfit has played 26 games at home across all competitions including the homes games which took place at the Stade Omar Hamadi due to the closer of the Stade 20 Aout 1955.

During the run of 26 home games unbeaten, Kais Yakoubi’s men have won on 21 occasions while also drawing five times.

The latest of the victories was a 6-0 battering of Relizane in just the second game of the 2021/22 Algerian Ligue 1 campaign.

Saoura has also scored a staggering 59 goals during the unbeaten home period, a figure which could be very intimidating for the Ghanaian club.

While the side’s luck at home hasn’t been the same at their away games, they have faired quite well even on the away front.

But the main worry for Samuel Boadu’s side will be to avoid a repetition of the unexpected drubbing in Morocco.

Should Hearts be able to do their homework well, Saoura could be a little threat to the Phobians. However, only time will tell whether the mistakes made in Morocco are being worked on or not.

7 things to know about JS Saoura

• The club was formed in 2008

• Their first CAF appearance was in 2017, eliminated in preliminaries

• They made the group stages of the CAF Champions League in 2019

• This will be their third appearance in African competition

• Very strong at home: held Ahly, beat Simba, AS Vita in 2017

• Have not lost at home in last 26 matches – all competitions

• Last home loss in Africa was in December 2019


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