The long road to the 2022 World Cup for African teams begins with 28 teams set to play in a two-legged preliminary round. The winner on aggregate will proceed to the next round. Here are Things to look out for in Africa World Cup Qualification. Bet on football here.
Fresh start for Sierra Leone
The Sierra Leone national football team endured a rough eight months due to a ban by world football governing body FIFA. FIFA suspended Sierra Leone last October due to third-party interference in the running of the country’s FA. However, FIFA lifted the ban in June giving them an opportunity to start again. The ban saw them disqualified from the qualifying campaign for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. With newly appointed coach, Ghanaian Sellas Tetteh, Sierra Leone are looking to begin their 2020 World Cup qualifier against rivals Liberia with a win.
New era for Angola
Angola’s World Cup appearance in 2006 seems like centuries ago. Since then, the southern African country’s football fortunes have dwindled significantly. The Palancas Negras have frequently failed to recapture that golden moment in their footballing history. This time round, they have an opportunity to replicate those performances. They face the Gambia in the preliminary round as they start their long and grueling journey to the 2022 World Cup. Their performances at the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations weren’t entirely convincing but that was their first appearance since 2013. With the appointment of Brazil’s Roberto Bianchi as the head coach, Angola’s new chapter could start on a bright note.
Cracker between neighbours Burundi and Tanzania
Both Burundi and Tanzania played in the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations and were both eliminated in the group stages. Both teams will clash in the preliminary round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with the aggregate winner progressing to the next round. Burundi, in particular, showed real maturity in their first-ever AFCON appearance in June, while Tanzania were underwhelming but showed real promise. Taifa Stars were making their first AFCON appearance in 39 years and it was clear they needed to grow as a team. This tie has been cagey in the last few meetings. In the last five meetings, Burundi have won three times while Tanzania have emerged victorious twice. Who will take the bragging rights this time?
Adel Amrouche debut for Botswana
The Zebras last played in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. With Adel Amrouche appointed as the new coach, the Zebras are looking to make an impression, starting with an encounter with Malawi. For Amrouche, this will be a chance of redemption after his previous stints with Kenya and Libya failing to bear fruits. Amrouche’s first task will be to steer the ship of a country ranked 147th in the world. Will he be a success?
Chad v Sudan rivalry
Chad and Sudan aren’t known for their footballing ability. However, rivalry in other fields have been transferred to the pitch in recent times. While Sudan are the more established team, Chad’s progress has always been hampered by financial constraints. Their last four meetings were close. Sudan won two while Chad won one match. Their 2020 World Cup qualifier will be more than a match. Sudan are ranked 129th in the world while their neighbours are 175th. However, these rankings might not matter when they go head to head.