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Preview: Togo vs. Kenya - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying clash between Togo and Kenya, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With nothing but pride on the line, Togo and Kenya lock horns in their final game of Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying in Group G on Monday.

The two countries have already seen any hopes of making the finals dashed and will simply aim to end their doomed qualification campaigns with their heads held high at the Stade de Kegue.


Match preview

Togo head coach Claude Le Roy pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Able to boast a meagre two points from a possible 15 in qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations, Togo's wretched stint in Group G cannot end quickly enough as they aim to rebuild for 2023.

Claude Le Roy has been unable to replicate his successes with Ghana this time around, as his side are still waiting for that elusive first win in qualification and were held to a goalless draw by the Comoros last time out - a result which saw Togo keep a clean sheet for the first time since beating the same nation 2-0 in September 2019 - but the manager remained upbeat after the match.

Having to deal with a spate of absentees, Le Roy claimed that his side were "sewing seeds" in Togolese football when speaking to the press after the match, and with Getafe defender Djene one of the few experienced players in that lineup, the Togo manager can certainly take confidence from that showing on Thursday.

However, that does not change the fact that Togo remain rock bottom of the rankings - although they will secure a third-placed finish if they overcome Kenya here - and they have only prevailed in one of their last 12 matches in all competitions, beating Uganda 2-1 in an African Nations Championship clash back in January.

Kenya have hardly fared much better in qualification either, although they also managed to hold one of the top two sides in the group to a draw last time out, as Egypt had to settle for a 1-1 draw on matchday five.

The group leaders drew first blood through Afsha two minutes in, but Hassan Abdallah restored parity on the 65-minute mark as Kenya recorded a fourth 1-1 draw from five qualification matches, with the only outlier being a 2-1 defeat to the Comoros in November.

Jacob Mulee's side have demonstrated a remarkable resolve to lose just one of their five matches, but failure to convert draws into wins has ultimately been their downfall in Group G, and they will have to settle for a third-placed finish unless Togo can pull off a surprise result on matchday six.

Harambee Stars have lost just two of their last 13 matches across all competitions, but as is the case with Togo, they are still chasing three points in Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying and will be more determined than ever to pick up that morale-boosting win here, even if the outcome of the game does pale into insignificance.

Togo and Kenya could not be separated earlier in qualification as they drew 1-1 in November 2019, and a goal from ex-Monaco and Atalanta winger Serge Gakpe gave Togo a 1-0 win when they last played host to their upcoming opponents in 2012.

Togo Africa Cup of Nations form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

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

Kenya competition form:
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

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


Team News

Le Roy handed a start to Togo starlet Josue Doke against Comoros last time out, but Ismail Ouro-Agoro replaced him just before the hour mark and will hope to earn a start over the 16-year-old this week.

Defensive stalwart Djene could be partnered by Kangnivi Ama Tchoutchoui once more, with Le Roy likely seeing no reason to alter his rearguard after ending their barren spell without a clean sheet against Comoros.

Hoffenheim winger Ihlas Bebou turned out for the full 90 minutes on matchday five, although there is nothing on the line in this game and Le Roy may decide to give his younger players a run-out here.

Kenya, meanwhile, will be forced to rejig their defence as Johnstone Omurwa saw red last time out, so Baraki Badi is a candidate to deputise in Mulee's backline.

The visiting manager has also confirmed that midfielder Kenneth Muguna will play no part after picking up an injury against Egypt, with Clyde Senaji being called up in his place, although Duke Abuya is a more likely option to man the engine room.

Togo possible starting lineup:
Nguessan; Agbozo, Djene, Tchoutchou Kangnivi, Moussa; Bebou, Amekoudji, Eninful, Nane; Ouro-Agoro, Agoro

Kenya possible starting lineup:
Otieno; Sakari, Badi, Onyango, Ouma; Abuya, Akumu, Juma, Abdallah; Olunga, Rupia


SM words green background

We say: Togo 1-2 Kenya

We would not put it past Kenya to play out another 1-1 draw with their upcoming opponents, and some enforced changes could potentially benefit Togo as they harbour similar aspirations of a first win at the sixth attempt in Group G.

However, Mulee's side have proven incredibly difficult to beat over the past year and will not want to be usurped at this late stage, so we are backing a narrow away win on the final matchday.


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Monday's key events


ATHLETICS
· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

SAILING
· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

FOOTBALL
· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

CYCLING
· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

WEIGHTLIFTING
· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

HOCKEY
· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

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