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AFCON 2023: Desabre’s Leopards Confront Five-star Morocco Aiming To Take Charge of Group F

After a frustrating draw last Wednesday, the Leopards continue their AFCON adventure with a tough encounter in San Pédro tonight.

DR Congo take on continental heavyweights Morocco in their second 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Group F encounter expected to be fiercely contested at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pédro this afternoon.

Sebastien Desabre and the Leopards go into Sunday’s encounter against the 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finalists desperate for a positive result after a frustrating 1-1 draw against Zambia last Wednesday.

The Leopards will be aiming for a famous victory over the Atlas Lions in order to set the tone for qualification into the Round of 16 stage.

Speaking in at the pre-match press conference ahead of the match, Desabre said his charges were nonetheless not under pressure despite failing to pick up maximum points in their opening fixture and coming up against the best ranked team at the tournament.

“We don’t want to play this match with regrets. We will try to have a good match by improving things that didn’t work in our last match. We have no pressure on tomorrow’s match because it could be an open match.

We, as technicians, are waiting for this match to see how our team will manage this balance of power with a favorite team in this competition” Desabre said.

“We know that we are not on the same path of progress but we are very motivated. And it’s a great opportunity to show our football tomorrow,” he added.

Sunday’s fixture will also be crucial for Morocco who started their campaign with a an impressive 3-0 victory over Tanzania and three points on Sunday afternoon will be enough to send them through to the next round.

The two sides will be meeting for the sixth time on Sunday since 1998 with the North African giants having the upper hand in the head-to-head record with a 2-1 lead in wins and two games ending in draws.

Sunday’s meeting between the two sides is set to bring together spectacular line-ups of star players who ply their trades in the world’s elite leagues.

Desabre has expected to effect a few alterations especially in attack and the midfield from the side that drew against Zambia.

Brentford winger Yoane Wissa scored the equalizer against Zambia is one of the attackers that will be expected maintain their places in attack alongside the experienced Gaël Kakuta who impressed on Wednesday.

Captain of the side Chancel Mbemba, Arthur Masuaku and Gédéon Kalulu will also be expected to return and provide cover at the back with Samuel Moutoussamy standing in front of them in an holding midfield role.

On the other side, Morocco gaffer Walid Regragui is also spoilt for choice with a star-studded roaster at his disposal.

Some of the star names expected to line-up against the Leopards include Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, Azzedine Ounahi, Sofyan Amrabat and Youssef En-Nesyri all on the books of top European clubs.

Leopards and the Atlas Lions confront each other at 2pm local time and 4pm CAT before Zambia’s Chipolopolo look to build from their draw against DR Congo as they take on Tanzania also at the Stade Laurent Pokou.

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