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Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying | Preliminary Round | 1st Leg
Mar 20, 2024 at 10pm UK
Stade de Marrakech
LN

Djibouti
0 - 2
Liberia

 
FT(HT: 0-2)
Sangare (23' pen.), Dorley (35')

Preview: Djibouti vs. Liberia - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Djibouti vs. Liberia - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying clash between Djibouti and Liberia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The qualification for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off this week, with Djibouti taking on Liberia in the first leg of the preliminary round on Wednesday evening.

Eight of Africa's lowest-ranked teams will battle it out in a two-legged preliminary round, with four of them moving into the group stage qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations.


Match preview

Ranked at 192nd according to FIFA rankings and 52nd in Africa, Djibouti are not just one of the lowest ranked teams in the continent, they are also the second-lowest ranked team that will contest the preliminary rounds.

The Shoremen of the Red Sea have never qualified for the AFCON in their history and have only participated in one tournament in their history, which is the CECAFA Cup, a competition for Central and East African teams.

Adbourahman Okie Hadi's side have played just one match this year, a 1-1 draw with 2023 AFCON quarter-finalists Equatorial Guinea in January but they are without a win in their last three games, losing 6-0 to Egypt and 1-0 to Guinea-Bissau respectively, in their opening two group stage qualifying matches for the 2026 World Cup.

This will be the third meeting between Djibouti and Liberia, with both sides also meeting during the AFCON qualifying round for the 2017 edition. The Shoremen of the Red Sea lost both legs, 1-0 at home and 5-0 away, conceding six times without finding the net.

Meanwhile, Liberia head into these qualifiers, looking to secure a third AFCON appearance in their history, having appeared in the 1996 and 2002 editions.

Ranked 152nd according to the latest FIFA rankings, putting them 46th out of 54 teams in Africa, the Lone Stars are winless in eight consecutive international matches and have lost the five.

Having reached the group stage in the qualification series for the last AFCON, going one better will be the aim for Liberia, who picked up just one point the last time, losing three times and drawing once in a group that had Morocco, South Africa and Zimbabwe who were not allowed to participate.

However, Mario Marinica's side must first navigate this preliminary stage and if they are to make it into the group stage of the AFCON qualifiers, they will have to improve their efficiency in front of goal, as they have failed to find the net in their last two games.

Djibouti form (all competitions):


Liberia form (all competitions):



Team News

For Djibouti, record goalscorer with eight goals in 17 caps, Samuel Akinbinu, is expected to start in attack alongside Gabriel Dadzie and Mohamed Fouad Mohamed.

Mahdi Houssein Mahabeh is another name to look out for, with the forward scoring seven goals in 28 appearances so far for the Shoremen of the Red Sea.

For Liberia, Marinica, who will take charge of the Liberian national team for the first time, has called up 24 players for the double-header with Djibouti.

The coach has opted for locally-based players, selecting just six foreign-based stars for both games.


Djibouti possible starting lineup:
Luyima; Farada, Isman, Araita, Warsama; Aden, Hassan, Hamza; Mohamed, Dadzie, Akinbinu

Liberia possible starting lineup:
Williams; Johnson, Dweh, Sangare, Pabai; Dorley, Macauley, Kenneh; Korvah, Jebor, Ledlum



We say: Djibouti 0-1 Liberia

Liberia are the better side in this fixture and should edge this fixture. The game will be played in a neutral ground in Morocco, which means home support will be limited for Djibouti. However, it should be a close game as the hosts have improved since their last meeting.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.




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