MX23RW : Friday, March 5 03:23:37| >> :600:270815:270815:
Jan 25, 2021 at 7pm UK at Stade Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidjo
Congo DRCongo DR
Issa Moussa (73')
Halidou (26'), Issaka Souley (72')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Kabangu (27'), Masasi (90+1')
Masasi (40'), Kabangu (73')

Preview: Niger vs. Congo DR - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's African Nations Championship clash between Niger and Congo DR, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both Congo DR and Niger will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the Total African Nations Championship when they square off at the Japoma Stadium on Monday evening.

Congo DR are top of Group B with four points, two points ahead of Niger, and both nations will be looking to clinch qualification to the quarter-finals.

Match preview

With two draws in the opening two games, Niger come into this fixture unbeaten, and will be looking to grab that all important win to seal a second knockout stages appearance in eight years.

The Mena are joint-second in Group B, having launched their campaign with a goalless draw against 2014 winners Libya, before sharing the spoils with Congo-Brazzaville in an entertaining 1-1 draw.

Niger crashed out of the 2011 edition at the quarter-finals, which remains their best-ever performance at the CHAN tournament to date.

The Democratic Republic of Congo are the most successful team in the African Nations Championship, having lifted the title in 2009 and 2016.

Despite a slip up against Libya last time out, where they stumbled to a 1-1 draw, Congo DR are one of this year's tournament favourites, and they are led by senior national team coach Florent Ibenge.

With the last kick of the game, William Likuta Luezi turned creator for captain Masasi Obenza, who scored a stunner from outside the area to hand the Leopards a dramatic 94th-minute equaliser.

Congo DR are making their fifth CHAN outing out of a possible six, and they need just a point on Monday to secure a third knockout stage appearance in the competition's history.

The two-time champions will go into this tie without a head coach in the dugout, however, as five players and coaching staff, including Florent Ibenge, contracted the coronavirus last week.

They are currently on an impressive unbeaten run dating back to October, with two wins and four draws in that time, while Niger have failed to taste victory in their last three matches.

The most recent meeting between both nations ended in an uneventful goalless draw at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013.

Niger African Nations Championship form: DD
Niger form (all competitions): LDWLDD

Congo DR African Nations Championship form: WD
Congo DR form (all competitions): DDWDWD

Team News

Niger have a clean bill of health, meaning head coach Harouna Doula Gabde has a full strength squad to select from heading into this fixture.

Niger were impressive with a three-man defence comprising Ismael Souley, Razak Seyni and Soufiane Boubacar, and they will likely stick to that defensive set up once again.

Several Congo DR squad members will sit out this tie having tested positive for COVID-19 last week, including Ley Matampi, Mukumi Mulamba, Doxa Gikanji and Bikoko Lobulka, as well as head coach Florent Ibenge.

Vita Club forward Ricky Tulengi could come into the Leopards' XI, potentially at the expense of Fiston Mayele, who has been far from impressive at the tournament.

Niger possible starting lineup:
Halidou; Souley, Seyni, Boubacar; Harouna, Moumouni, Badamassi, Djibo; Boubacar, Garba, Djibrilla

Congo DR possible starting lineup:
Tshumu; Sita, Baka, Fasika, Shabani; Mika, Obenza, Kabangu, Lilepo, Karim; Tulengi

SM words green background

We say: Niger 0-1 Congo DR

It should be a close one at the Japoma Stadium on Monday evening with both nations looking to make it out of the group.

However, Niger have struggled to impress since the start of the tournament, and looking at the quality of players in the Congo DR squad, we predict this will be Niger's last game at the tournament.


How you voted: Niger vs Congo DR

Congo DR
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Maazou Ouwo Moussa
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Africa Cup of Nations Preview: Niger
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