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Preview: Libya vs. Niger - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Libya vs. Niger - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's African Nations Championship clash between Libya and Niger, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

2014 winners Libya begin their quest for a second Total African Nations Championship title in their Group B clash with Niger on Sunday.

The Mena of Niger will be making their first CHAN appearance in four years, after failing to qualify for the tournament in 2018.


Match preview

Libya are the only team at the African Nations Championship on invitation, after Tunisia, who eliminated them in the qualifiers, backed out of the bi-annual competition due to a congested domestic calendar.

The Mediterranean Knights of Libya are led by former Benfica and Sampdoria coach Zoran Filipovic, alongside senior national team coach Mohamed Al-Kikli.

Before picking up the Libya role, Filipovic plied his trade in the South African Premier Soccer League, where he rescued Lamontville Golden Arrows from impending relegation within three months in charge.

Despite the Libyan Premier League being suspended for almost two years, the 67-year-old head coach has named a 28-man squad comprising players from seven clubs across Libya, including Al Ahli Tripoli defender Rabee Allafi.

Shortly after their touchdown in Cameroon, Libya took part in a warm up friendly match at the Japoma Stadium Annex on Thursday, where they secured an impressive 1-1 draw against the Chipolopolo of Zambia.

Niger qualified for the 2020 African Nations Championship at the expense of Ivory Coast, thanks to a 2-0 first-leg victory at the General Seyni Kountche Stadium in Niamey.

Harouna Doula Gabde's men are making their third CHAN appearance, and they will aim to surpass their 2011 quarter-final exit, which is their best-ever finish to date.

The Mena participated in the invitational friendly competition last week, finishing third with one win, a draw with host nation Cameroon and a disappointing 3-0 defeat to the Cranes of Uganda.

While Libya follow this fixture with a highly-anticipated clash with DR Congo, Niger will take on Congo-Brazzaville at the newly constructed Japoma Stadium in Douala.

Libya form (all competitions): LWLLLD

Niger form (all competitions): WWLDWL


Team News

Both nations have clean bills of health with all players available for selection, after undergoing a routine coronavirus test before heading to Cameroon.

Al Nasr man Fathi Talhy was summoned by the Mediterranean Knights, as Filipovic looks to rely on the 32-year-old goalkeeper's experience.

Sahel SC talisman Ibrahim Djibrilla is expected to return to the Niger starting XI on Sunday, as he was rested against Uganda, after bagging three goals in the first two pre-CHAN friendly matches.

Libya possible starting lineup:
Talhi; Makari, Elammi, Kalil, Allafi; Honi, Mohamed, Shadi; Makri, Misrati, Magdi

Niger possible starting lineup:
Oumarou; Harouna, Koudize, Mamoudou, Djibrilla; Goumey, Badamassi; Aziz, Issa, Boubacar; Adamou


We say: Libya 1-2 Niger

The Mena of Niger have proven to be a resilient side with a number of individually gifted players, and they should comfortably come out on top at the end of 90 minutes.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City25185250153559
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd25147453322149
3Leicester CityLeicester25154644271749
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham25136639291045
5Chelsea25127641251643
6Liverpool25117745341140
7Everton2412483733440
8Aston Villa23113937261136
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs24106837271036
10Leeds UnitedLeeds25112124343035
11Arsenal25104113126534
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2596102632-633
13Crystal Palace2595112943-1432
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2577111830-1228
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2551192632-626
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2574142643-1725
18Fulham25410112132-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2528151955-3614
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2532201541-2611
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