Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying clash between Cape Verde and Togo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Both seeking their first win in Group B of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Cape Verde and Togo go head to head at the Stade de Marrakech on Tuesday.
The visitors were held to a 2-2 draw by Eswatini in Wednesday’s group opener, while the Blue Sharks fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Burkina Faso.
Cape Verde were on the receiving end of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Burkina Faso when the sides went head to head in Thursday’s group opener.
In a one-sided affair at the Stade de Marrakech, Ajax forward Hassane Bande put Les Etalons ahead in the 58th minute before Dango Ouattara made sure of the result with an 88th-minute strike.
Prior to that, Cape Verde were on a three-game winning streak, seeing off Guadeloupe, Liechtenstein and San Marino in their three friendly fixtures back in March.
Bubista‘s side have now failed to taste victory in any of their last four competitive outings, picking up two draws and losing two since January’s 1-0 victory over Ethiopia in their 2022 AFCON opener.
While they will be looking to end this dry spell and get their campaign up and running, next up is the challenge of taking on an opposing side who have won each of their last two games away from home.
Togo, on the other hand, were denied an opening-day win on Thursday when they lost the lead twice before settling for a somewhat disappointing 2-2 draw with Eswatini.
After Sabelo Ndzinisa canceled out Euloge Fessou Placca‘s first-half opener, 30-year-old Kodjo Fo Doh Laba struck in the 87th minute to put the Sparrow Hawks ahead, but Mbabane Swallows forward Nhlanhla Ngwenya netted in the 95th minute to force a share of the spoils.
Paulo Duarte‘s men are now unbeaten in each of their last seven outings across all competitions, picking up three wins and four draws since a 1-0 loss to Namibia in the World Cup qualifiers back in September 2021.
However, Togo have now failed to win any of their last seven Africa Cup of Nations qualification games, losing four and claiming three draws, while scoring five goals and conceding 10 in that time.
Cape Verde Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying form:
Cape Verde form (all competitions):
Togo Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying form:
Togo form (all competitions):
Despite their opening-day defeat, Bubista could stick to his preferred 5-3-2 formation with a back five of Steve Furtado, Diney, Roberto Lopes, Stopira and Dylan Tavares.
Twenty-seven-year-old Carlos Ponck should be tasked with winning the midfield battle, alongside Rayo Vallecano man Bebe and San Jose Earthquakes’ Jamiro Monteiro.
At the attacking end of the pitch, we should see a two-man pairing of Ryan Mendes, who has netted 12 goals in 58 senior caps, and Olympico forward Garry Rodrigues for the second game running.
Meanwhile, Doh Laba and Placca were both on target against Eswatini last time out and the duo should team up at the attacking end of the pitch for the second game running.
Stade de Reims midfielder Jacques-Alaixys Romao should retain his place in midfield following an impressive opening-day performance, while we should see a centre-back pairing of Djene and Santa Clara man Kennedy Boateng.
Cape Verde possible starting lineup:
Mohlin; Furtado, Diney, Lopez, Stopira, Tavares; Bebe, Mendes, Ponck, Monteiro; Rodrigues
Togo possible starting lineup:
Barcola; Hackman, Djene, Boateng, Youssifou; Asamoah, Tchakei, Romao; Placca, Laba, Klidje
We say: Cape Verde 2-1 Togo
While Togo head into the game unbeaten in each of their last seven outings across all competitions, they have failed to win any of their last seven AFCON qualifying games. We predict a cagey affair with Cape Verde coming away with a slender victory.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.