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Oct 7, 2021 at 2pm UK
Congo DRCongo DR
Akolo (35'), Mbokani (80' pen.)
Mbokani (55')
FT(HT: 1-0)

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

:Headline: Preview: Congo DR vs. Madagascar - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's World Cup Qualifying - Africa clash between Congo DR and Madagascar, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Congo DR and Madagascar are both in need of a victory to keep their World Cup 2022 qualification hopes alive when they meet at Stade des Martyrs on Thursday.

The hosts are third in Group J after drawing their first two matches, while Madagascar are without a point and are bottom of the four-team pool.

Match preview

With top two sides Tanzania and Benin facing off in back-to-back matches this week, Congo DR and Madagascar have an opportunity to capitalise when they meet home and away.

Congo DR took the lead in their games with Tanzania and Benin last month, only to be pegged back in both matches to leave them with two points from a possible six.

The Leopards have now drawn three games on the spin, having previously played out another 1-1 draw with Mali in June's friendly.

Madagascar are winless in seven matches overall, meanwhile, most recently going down 1-0 to Benin and 3-2 to Tanzania in their opening two Group J fixtures.

Eric Rabesandratana's side recovered from two goals down to level things up by half time against Tanzania, only for Feisal Salum to snatch all three points for the hosts.

With a four-point deficit to make up on the top two, Madagascar know that anything other than victory on Thursday will realistically end their outside qualification hopes.

Congo DR are just two points behind Tanzania and Benin, meanwhile, and the aim for boss Hector Cuper will be to end the week at the top of the standings.

Only the side that finishes top will advance to the third and final round of CAF qualifying, and the picture should become a lot clearer in Group J over the coming days.

Congo DR World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • D
  • D

Congo DR form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D

Madagascar World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:
  • L
  • L

Madagascar form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

Yoane Wissa, who has two goals in four substitute appearances for Brentford in the Premier League this season, is in line for his competitive debut for Congo DR.

Recently-appointed boss Cuper can also call upon Dieumerci Mbokani, who is Congo DR's all-time leading goalscorer with 20 goals in 43 appearances.

As for Madagascar, a change or two can be expected on the back of their 3-2 loss at the hands of Tanzania last time out.

Njiva Rakotoharimalala was introduced as a first-half substitute in that match and got his name on the scoresheet, putting him in contention for a recall here.

Congo DR possible starting lineup:
Kiassumbua, Tisserand, Mbemba, Luyindama, Ngonda, Amale, Moutoussamy, Akolo, Mbokani, Bolasie, Bakambu

Madagascar possible starting lineup:
Adrien, Mombris, Metanire, Razakanantenaina, Fontaine, Abel, Hery, Ravelson, Manampisoa, Abdallah, Lapoussin

We say: Congo DR 2-0 Madagascar

Congo DR will be a little disappointed to have only collected two points at this stage, particularly having led in their opening two matches.

This double-header with Madagascar provides a chance to put some points on the board, though, and we are backing them to come out on top in the first of those encounters.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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