Although points gained are of no consequence but a victory for Leone Stars on home soil may increase their global rankings. (Photo Credit fegafoot photo).
The Leone Stars of Sierra Leone will be looking for their first win in Group I when they host 2017 African Cup of Nations host Gabon in Freetown on Easter Monday.
The overall head-to-head statistics is in favour of the visitors, the Gabonese had the upper-hand in most recent outings and they are also looking dangerous in all their matches so far in the qualifiers.
Leading their attack is Africa’s most dangerous striker Aubameyang Pierre-Emerick who is also the African Best player of the year.
It is in this light that many submit that 1994 and 1996 Cup of Nations participant, Sierra Leone, have it all to do if they are to win their first competitive game since the Ebola Epidemic that ravaged hundreds of lives in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone’s build-up for the Gabon double header ended up a 1-1 draw against Malawi’s Flames, Leone Stars first at home.
Sierra Leone caretaker coach Sellas Tetteh has said he expects soccer fans to turn up and get behind the team.
However, the Panthers are looking to maintained top spot in the group ahead of the January’s tournament.
They are better ranked 32 places above Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone is ranked 115th compared to Gabon who is placed 83rd.
It is this scenario that sets up an expected thrilling encounter at the Siaka Steven Stadium because Sierra Leone must not lose.
Nine foreign-based players who started in Franceville are available and will be desperate to turn this tie in their favour, but it is not clear whether Ghanaian caretaker coach will make any changes from the side in Gabon.
Sierra Leone’s soccer team are first from bottom in group I with a single point behind Gabon, the African champions Ivory Coast and Sudan from three matches.
Leone Stars first team in Gabon.
Goalkeeper – Solomon Zombo Morris (GK), Umaru Bangura (C), David Simbo, Abdul Aziz Deen-Conteh, Yeami Dunia, Mohamed Kamara, Abdul Sesay, Kwame Quee, Abu Kanu, Mustapha Bangura, Mohamed Bangura
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