Comoros and Gabon face off at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde, Cameroon for their first Group C encounter of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on Monday.
Comoros are all set to make their debut in the tournament, having qualified for the very first time in history. Gabon, meanwhile, are making their eighth appearance, but are hoping to progress from the group stages for the first time since 2012. The Panthers lost out in the group stages in each of the last two editions of the competition. However, they face an uphill battle against Ghana and Morocco, one of the tournament favorites. A victory in their opening match will give the side a head start in their endeavor.
Comoros vs Gabon Head-To-Head
Interestingly, this will be the first official encounter between the sides.
Comoros vs Gabon Team News
Head coach Amir Abdou has called up a 26-man squad for the tournament, most of whom ply their trade in France. There are no uncapped players and the squad features key figures like Ali M’Madi, Youssouf M’Changama, Nadjim Abdou and prolific scorer El Fardou Ben Nabouhane.
The Panthers have been hit with an early blow as their key goalscorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, tested positive for COVID-19 after a ‘team party’ in Dubai. He now has to self-isolate and remains a major doubt for Gabon’s first two group matches against Comoros and Ghana. Denis Bouanga and Axel Meye may start in a two-pronged attack upfront.
Unavailable: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Comoros vs Gabon Predicted XI
Comoros (4-4-2): Ali Ahamada; Kassim Abdallah, Nadjim Abdou, Younn Zahary, Mohamed Youssouf; Faiz Mattoir, Yacine Bourhane, Rafidine Abdullah, Faïz Selemani; Mohamed M’Changama, Ahmed Mogni.
Gabon (4-4-2): Anthony Mfa Mezui; Lloyd Palun, Anthony Oyono, Sidney Obissa, David Sambissa; Mario Lemina, André Biyogo Poko, Serge-Junior Martinsson Ngouali, Jim Allevinah; Denis Bouanga, Axel Méyé.
Comoros vs Gabon Prediction
The loss of Aubameyang is obviously a big blow to Gabon, but the side still have some quality options in the attack to call upon. Comoros, ranked 43 places below them, are in their first AFCON tournament and aren’t expected to pull up trees. It should be a straightforward win for the Panthers.
Prediction: Comoros 0-2 Gabon