Friday Nov 13, 2015. 11:55
Ethiopia will be hosting Congo in Addis Ababa on Saturday
, in the first leg of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying tie.
Defeated 1-0 in Sao Tome in their campaign opener, the Walya Antelopes ultimately got past the continental minnows in the first round with a 3-1 aggregate victory, while the Red Devils will begin their international journey after receiving a bye to this second round.
Determined to get a positive result on the road before hosting their opponents in Brazzaville on 17 November
, Congo coach Claude Leroy will have to cope with the absence of SCO Angers defender Arnold Bouka Moutou, Stade de Reims midfielder Prince Oniangué and SCO Angers striker Férébory Doré, all due to injuries.
But the French manager will be able to count on Thievy Bifouma, after sweating for a while over the fitness of the Granada forward.
“Ethiopia are a good side but we intend to give them a football lesson as the World Cup qualifier is a very important match for us considering we are starting the first leg away from home. We know football dynamics have changed but we want nothing short of a win,” Leroy warned ahead of the clash.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia are not short on confidence either, and strongly believe they have what it takes to claim all points in front of their home crowd and take an advantage into the second leg.
“I am happy with our preparations ahead of the important game against Congo who are a seasoned side with a good foundation. However we have to take note that football dynamics have changed and as we go to the game what we want as a team is a win just like they do, too,” Walya boss Yohannes Sahle told SuperSport.com.
“The mood in camp has been buoyant and very optimistic especially since most of our players are home-based and they are in the team that qualified for Chan 2016. We have put everything in place and I have urged my players to give 100 per cent and not be afraid of the Congo players.
“We will be working hard to use our home advantage before playing the second leg away in Brazzaville.”
The game will kick off at Addis Ababa Stadium at 15h00
CAT on Saturday 14 November.