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Preview: Ethiopia vs. Cape Verde - prediction, team news, lineups
09/01/2022 08:05:59

Ethiopia get their Africa Cup of Nations campaign started with a clash against Cape Verde at Stade Paul Biya on Sunday.

Both teams have been drawn in Group A of the competition, alongside host nation Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

We say: Ethiopia 1-1 Cape Verde

Both teams will be fully up for this given the occasion which should make for an enthralling affair. We are predicting a share of the spoils with the sides settling for a point apiece in the end.

Match preview

Ethiopia finished as runners-up to the Ivory Coast in Group K of the qualifiers to secure safe passage into the group stages of the tournament.

Wubetu Abate's men managed three wins and three draws from their six qualifying matches, beating Madagascar and Niger to the last automatic spot.

The Ibex have won only one of their six competitive matches since then which has seen them miss out on a place in the playoffs for the 2022 World Cup.

However, Ethiopia overcame Sudan 3-2 on Thursday in their final warm-up fixture and will be keen to kick on from there.

As they prepare for a first-ever meeting against this weekend's opponents, the east Africans could certainly do with a victory in their quest to improve on 2013's group-stage exit.

After missing out in 2017 and 2019, Cape Verde were determined to take part in this year's event and booked their ticket by finishing second in their qualifying group.

The Blue Sharks also came close to progressing into the next round of the World Cup qualifiers before they were eventually denied by the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Heading into the final match day two points adrift of their west African counterparts, Cape Verde needed to win to book a spot in March's playoffs but could only manage a 1-1 draw.

Pedro Brito's men will now be looking to put that disappointment behind them and put on an impressive display in their third ever continental outing.

Team News

Lisandro Semedo has recovered from an ankle injury just in time to be named in Cape Verde's 28-man squad, and the Fortuna Sittard forward will be aiming to make up for lost time.

Ryan Mendes was directly involved in half of his side's six goals during the qualifiers and is one to keep an eye on.

Off the back of his brace last time out, Amanuel Gebremichael is seriously pushing for a place in Ethiopia's starting XI, but we expect all-time top goalscorer Getaneh Kebede to lead the line.

Shimelis Bekele is now closing in on 70 national team appearances and is on course to become the first player in his nation's history to achieve the feat.

Ethiopia possible starting lineup:

Tassew; Yesuf, Debebe, Tunjo, Bayeh; Yohannes, Bekele, Meleyo; Kebede, Hotessa, Nassir

Cape Verde possible starting lineup:

Vozinha; Andrade, Fortes, Lopes, Stopira; Rocha, Monteiro, Paulo; Mendes, Tavares, Semedo

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