CAF Confederation Cup Preview: Nkana prepare for Egyptian test, Leopards face Cotonsport
The Zambian Premier League champions are one of six teams who make up the last eight of the competition having started the season in the CAF Champions League.
A daunting trip to eight-time Champions League winners Al Ahly awaits them in Group B, which also contains Sewe Sport and Etoile du Sahel.
Al Ahly are competing in the Confederation Cup for the first time after suffering the disappointment of elimination from Africa's elite club competition, and coach Fathi Mabrouk is not concerned about their opening game.
"We have a strong team, same with our opponents, but I think it's our pedigree and determination to win that sets us apart," he said.
"The game against Nkana is important. It will set the tone for our campaign.
"They were here last month but I did not have the opportunity to watch them. It's, however, not something to worry us, we know their style."
The visit to Egypt will bring back painful memories for Nkana, who were knocked out of the Champions League by Al Ahly's fierce rivals Zamalek, losing 5-0 in Cairo in March.
With defending champions CS Sfaxien not playing in the competition this season the most recent winners left are Leopards, and the Congolese side, who triumphed in 2012, host Cotonsport in Group A.
Leopards needed penalties to make it into the group stages at the expense of Medeama, and they face their Cameroonian opponents for the first time since 2010.
That was a first-round match in the same competition, with Cotonsport progressing on away goals after the two-legged tie had finished 3-3.
The other game in Group A sees Real Bamako face ASEC Mimosas, the Ivorians one of the two sides who have been in the competition from the start.
ASEC have only conceded three goals in their six games so far in the competition and will hope their mean defence can enable their free-scoring strikers, who have netted12 goals, to secure victory.
Sewe Sport will take part in the group stages for the first time when they host former winners Etoile in Abidjan.
Etoile lifted the trophy in 2006 and were runners-up two seasons later but have concentrated their focus on the Champions League in recent seasons.
The Tunisian side have already beaten Congo's CARA Brazzaville, Supersport United from South Africa and Guinea champions Horoya in the competition and will be confident of starting the group stages with a win.