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Major Absentees in Gambia vs Algeria Game

Gambia will be flying to Algeria without some key players owing to various reasons.

Gambia will be flying to Algeria without some key players owing to various reasons.

Captain Pa Modou Jagne and former Middlesbrough FC’s winger Mustapha Carayol are on the sidelines nursing injuries.

Regular forward Assan Ceesay of Zurich FC and Salernitana’s Lamin Jallow in Italy’s second tier are ineligible for the tie due to an accumulation of cards.

Ali Sowe and Sulayman Marreh, a striker and a midfielder respectively playing in Bulgaria and Belgium, have asked to be excused from the crucial fixture for personal reasons.

In the absence of the two strikers, Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet has called up former Spain U-17 and U-20 striker Nuha Marong who is expected to make his debut and will compete for a starting spot with Atalanta’s Musa Barrow who plies his trade in the Italian Serie A.

Meanwhile, Babucarr Jobe, in the Swedish second tier and goal scorer in the Scorpions’ 3-1 thumping of Benin last November, is available for selection and will travel out with the team along with Ablie Jallow of Metz, Muhammed Badamosi and Adama Jammeh based in Morocco and Tunisia respectively.

Gambia must beat Algeria and hope the other qualifier between Benin and Togo ends in a draw to be assured of qualification.

The West African outfit have never qualified for an AFCON or World Cup competition and have a case being looked at by CAS, something which could potentially work in their favor.

On another positive note, defender Omar Colley of Sampdoria in the Serie A has returned to the squad after initially falling out with the coach.

The 26-year-old was one of three key players who refused to honor the first-leg fixture with Algeria in protest over the coach’s exclusion of Saudi-Arabia-based forward Bubacarr Trawally.

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