Zesco United captain and goalkeeper Jacob Banda believes Mbabane Swallows will be a worthy adversary in Saturday's Group D opener at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Swazi champions, Swallows, return to Zambia a month after they eliminated Zesco's rivals from Lusaka, Zanaco, 3-1 on aggregate to reach the group stage for the first time.
But Swallows are not new to Zesco after the Zambian club eliminated the Swazi outfit at the preliminary round of the 2015 edition 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 final leg home win in Ndola.
Interestingly, the match also comes exactly a week after Zesco beat Zanaco 1-0 away in Lusaka on April 28 to hand the home side their first league defeat of the 2018 FAZ Super Division campaign.
"The game will be tough against Mbabane Swallows and we are at home and we also have to put our league win against Zanaco behind us," Banda told CAFOnline.com.
"We have to approach it with serious caution but we must fully utilize our home ground advantage."
The match will also mark coach George Lwandamina's continental return to the Zesco bench almost 16 months after he left for Tanzania giants, Young Africans.
Lwandamina led Zesco to their debut semis appearance in 2016, before losing out to eventual winners Mamelodi Sndowns of South Africa.
Furthermore, Zesco return to the league phase of continental club competition for a third straight season after reaching the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinals.
"We have an experienced team and we have participated in this competition before and I believe we will do much better this year," Banda said.
Angolan torchbearers Primeiro Agosto will host Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia in the other Group D game also on Saturday in Luanda.
04.5.2018 19H00 Alexandria Ahly (Egypt) vs Esperance (Tunisia)
04.5.2018 16H00 Gaborone Township Rollers (Botswana) vs KCCA (Uganda)
04.5.2018 19H00 Algiers MC Alger (Algeria) vs Difaa El Jadidi (Morocco)
05.5.2018 13H00 Lubumbashi TP Mazembe (DR Congo) vs ES Setif (Algeria)
05.5.2018 16H00 Lome AS Port (Togo) vs Horoya (Guinea)
05.5.2018 19H00 Pretoria Sundowns (South Africa) vs Wydad (Morocco)
05.5.2018 13H00 Ndola Zesco (Zambia) vs Swallows (Swaziland)
05.5.2018 16H00 Luanda Primeiro Agosto (Angola) vs Etoile (Tunisia)
*All times are in GMT