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2015 AFRICA CUP QUALIFIERS - 2ND ROUND- FIXTURES - PREVIEW

AFRICA CUP 2015 PRELIMINARIES

Qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations resumes this weekend, with 14 teams battling over two-legged ties to fill the remaining seven places in the group stage.

Sierra Leone go into their second-round match with Seychelles off the back off a week which has seen the country's football association and sports ministry suspend a group of 15 for alleged match-fixing.

Two of the the affected group are players who were set to play for Sierra Leone in Saturday's match in Freetown but have since been withdrawn from the squad.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Bostwana are in action at home to Guinea-Bissau in Gaborone.

Botswana are another team with controversy hanging over them.

FIFA has threatened to ban them because of tournaments being held in the country that football's world governing body believes are not under control of the Botswana football association.

They have been given until 22 September to comply with FIFA's directives.

In Saturday's other fixture Uganda take on Mauritania, who lost in the previous round but were reinstated after Equatorial Guinea were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in the tie.

We will need to prepare ourselves well for a tough challenge - they are a good team, tactically and physically. "We need to find the holes in their defence so we can score goals. I believe we will achieve the dream of Uganda to reach the group stage."

On Sunday, Lesotho and Kenya meet in the first of the day's matches.

Kenya must do without several first-choice players who have been refused permission to play because the game falls outside FIFA's international match calendar. Among them is Norway-based goalkeeper Arnold Origi and France-based captain Denis Oliech. But Victor Wanyama has been given permission by English Premier League side Southampton to play in Maseru. 

Tanzania host Mozambique in Dar-es-Salaam also on Sunday. 

They hope they can take advantage of new Dutch coach Mart Nooij's experience of four years in charge of Mozambique from 2007 to 2011. Nooij told BBC Sport: "I know Mozambique rather well, I built their team myself, practically. I know the players and I will tell the Tanzania players where we can strike them and how to beat them. "At the back we can be very safe - that is one of our characteristics.

We have four defenders and a goalkeeper that can save us. And up front we have some killers. "We must get the ball up front so our attackers can score."

Tanzania have been boosted by the availability of star front men Mbwana Samata and Thomas Ulimwengu, who were freed by Democratic Republic of Congo outfit TP Mazembe.

Malawi have axed full-back and captain Moses Chavula and must do without injured midfielder Robert Ng'ambi when they meet Benin in Cotonou.

Benin rely heavily on West Bromwich Albion midfielder Stephane Sessegnon, scorer of three goals in the second-round triumph over Sao Tome e Principe.

Rwanda, who shocked Libya in the last round, visit Congo-Brazzaville.

 

18 Jul 2014
(BBC Sport UK)

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