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AFCON 2019 Qualifiers: Morocco Out to Claim Cameroon Scalp, Tunisia Tackle Egypt

The fifth round of group stage qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will continue with three matches across the continent on Friday, November 16.

The fifth round of group stage qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will continue with three matches across the continent on Friday, November 16.

The action gets underway early in the afternoon as Burundi head to Juba to take on South Sudan in a Group C clash. The Swallows are heavily favored to pick up an away win, but coach Olivier Niyungeko has warned his team to expect a tough clash at the Juba Stadium.

Burundi currently sit third in their qualifying group with six points from four games, one point behind second placed Gabon and two points behind leaders Mali.

South Sudan are bottom of Group C with zero points and will only be playing for pride as they are unable to qualify for the tournament scheduled for next year.

Another of Africa’s 2018 World Cup teams, Tunisia, will host Egypt at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria. Both teams are already through to the tournament in Cameroon and this could be an open contest between the two sides.

Carthage Eagles coaches Mourad Okbi and Maher Kanzari have opted not to tamper with the squad that has helped the team qualify for the next year’s tournament.

Striker Issam Jebali of Norwegian side Rosenborg, Kortrijk midfielder Larry Azouni and Karim Laaribi of Hellas Verona have been included, although they have not featured in their previous call-ups.

For, Egypt Mohammed Salah is expected to star in what has been named the North African derby. He is expected to work with a midfield which will see the return of midfielder Ferjani Sassi.

The squad will be missing the services of Ahly’s Ali Maaloul who was left out due to a groin injury.

Another high profile match of the day will be between Morocco and Cameroon where the 2019 hosts will be testing their mettle at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.

Atlas Lions currently sit second of the Group B log with seven points, just one behind leaders Indomitable Lions. Third-placed Malawi are three points behind the Atlas Lions, while Comoros lie at the foot of the table with two points.

Statistically, both teams appear evenly matched at the moment and look set to serve up a thrilling encounter. It should be noted that Morocco will be featuring three new players namely Wydad Casablanca goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti, Achraf Dari also from Wydad Casablanca, and Abdelilah Hafidi from Casablanca of Raja.

On their side, Cameroon are expected to field Christian Bassogog and Stephane Bahoken after injury ruled both players out of the October matches. The duo of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Toko Ekambi are also likely to be included having been pivotal to Cameron’s fine showing in the qualifiers.

In head-to-head stats, Morocco and Cameroon have met in 11 previous matches according to FIFA’s statistics database. The Indomitable Lions boast an unbeaten record in the rivalry (six wins and five draws) and beat the Atlas Lions 1-0 in Yaounde when the teams met in the first round of group stage qualifiers back in June 2017.

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