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World Cup Qualifying - Africa | Second Round
Oct 7, 2021 at 2pm UK
National Complex
CV

Liberia
1 - 2
Cape Verde

Harmon (45+3')
Njie (55'), Sanoh (60'), Balde (70')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Monteiro (52'), Rodrigues (90+2')

Preview: Liberia vs. Cape Verde - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Liberia vs. Cape Verde - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's World Cup Qualifying - Africa clash between Liberia and Cape Verde, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two sides seeking a first-ever appearance at the World Cup square off on Thursday as Liberia take on Cape Verde at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium.

The hosts will be searching for a second consecutive victory after edging out Central African Republic last time out, while the visitors suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Nigeria in Mindelo.


Match preview

Liberia began their quest for a first-ever appearance at the World Cup back in September 2019, when they saw off Sierra Leone 3-2 over two legs in the first qualifying round.

Despite falling to a 1-0 defeat in the second leg, a 3-1 win back in Paynesville four days earlier helped Peter Butler's side secure a place in the group stages of the second round.

However, they were condemned to an opening-day 2-0 defeat against Nigeria when Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho scored a first-half brace to hand the Super Eagles all three points in Lagos on September 2.

Knowing more dropped points would be a huge blow to their qualification hopes, Liberia returned home where they secured a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Central African Republic three days later.

Les Fauves put on a solid defensive display to keep the scores level for most of the game, but Kedah forward Kpah Sherman came up trumps for the Lone Stars when he broke the deadlock with four minutes remaining in the game.

Liberia head into Thursday's game on the back of a 2-0 loss to African giants Egypt when they faced off in a warm-up friendly fixture last Thursday.

This will be the first of two consecutive meetings with Cape Verde, and they will feel the need to push for maximum points in both games with a second meeting with group favourites Nigeria still to come.

Meanwhile, Cape Verde kicked off their hunt for a place in Qatar on September 1, when they were held to a relatively disappointing 1-1 draw by Central African Republic.

In a cagey affair at Cameroon's Stade de la Reunification, Julio Tavares put the Blue Sharks ahead in the 36th minute but Tresor Toropite struck eight minutes into the second half to force a share of the spoils.

That was followed by a 2-1 loss to three-time African Cup of Nations champions Nigeria when they squared off at the Estadio Municipal Aderito Sena six days later.

Dylan Tavares put Bubista's side in front in the 19th minute, but Napoli star Victor Osimhen restored parity 10 minutes later before a 76th-minute own goal from Kenny Rocha Santos helped the Super Eagles to turn the game on its head and secure a second straight group victory.

Cape Verde will be looking to arrest their slump in form as they have failed to taste victory in each of their most recent three matches since seeing an eight-game unbeaten run come to an end back in June.

With 67 places between the sides in the FIFA World Rankings, they will fancy their chances against a less superior Liberia side, who are on a run of one win from their previous nine outings in all competitions.

Liberia World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Liberia form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Cape Verde World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • D
  • L

Cape Verde form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L


Team News

Liberia have named a 23-man squad for the double-header against Cape Verde, including Olympiakos Nicosia forward Peter Wilson and Slavia Prague's Oscar Dorley.

On the back of his side's solid defensive display against Central African Republic, Butler should name a similar side on Thursday, meaning we could see a back three of Prince Balde, Brem Soumaoro and Sampson Dweh.

Meanwhile, Cape Verde have called up a strong squad for their upcoming games, including the likes of Vozinha, who is fourth in the nation's all-time appearance chart, and Al Nasr forward Ryan Mendes.

The latter, who is currently tied on 10 goals with former Al-Ahli forward Calo, could move into second place on the nations' all-time goalscoring chart.

Bubista opted for a defensive 5-3-2 formation against a rampant Nigeria side last time out, but the 51-year-old could revert to his preferred and more attacking 4-3-3 formation in search of maximum points.

Liberia possible starting lineup:
Williams; Dweh, Soumaoro, Balde; Macauley, Salmon, Tweh, Dorley; Kamara, Sherman, Kosiah

Cape Verde possible starting lineup:
Vozinha; Furtado, Stopira, Lopes, Tavares; Santos, Ponck, Andrade; Furtado, Tavares, Mendes


We say: Liberia 1-1 Cape Verde

Following their victory over Central African Republic, Liberia will look to stay in close proximity with Nigeria at the top of the table by making it two wins from two.

Cape Verde, meanwhile, will aim to arrest their slump in form and pick up their first win of the qualifiers, and we anticipate they will cancel out each other's efforts and settle for a share of the spoils.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data




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