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ON THE PLANE TO AFCON: Sebastien Desabre Names Final Leopards Squad For Africa Cup

DR Congo national team coach Sebastien Desabre has named his final squad for next month’s 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted in Côte d’Ivoire.

Desabre has assembled a 24-member squad with a number of key players making the cut for the tournament that will begin on 13th January, 2024.

Captain of the side Chancel Mbemba of Olympique Marseille leads the pack of Leopards heading to the city of San Pedro, where the team will be based.

Cedric Bakambu, Théo Bongonda, Samuel Moutoussamy, Elia Meshack and Yoane Wissa are some other key and star players that have made the squad.

Meanwhile, notable absentees include Turkish-based Besiktas attacker Jackson Muleka who has not been picked while the injured William Balikwisha will also miss out.

The Leopards are set to camp to prepare for the AFCON in the United Arab Emirates where they will play two international friendlies Angola and Burkina Faso before jetting out to San Pedro.

DR Congo have been placed in Group F at the AFCON alongside heavyweights Morocco as well as neighboring Zambia and Tanzania.

Desabre’s men kicked off their campaign against the Chipolopolo of Zambia on 17 January at the San Pedro Stadium.

Full Leopards AFCON Squad;

• Goalkeepers
Lionel Mpasi (Rodez AF, France), Siadi Baggio Ngusia (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Dimitry Bertaud (Montpellier HSC, France)

• Defenders
Chancel Mbemba (Olympique Marseille, France), Arthur Masuaku (Beşiktaş JK, Turkey), Henock Inonga Baka (Simba SC, Tanzania), Gédéon Kalulu (FC Lorient, France), Dylan Batubinsika (AS Saint-Étienne, France), Joris Kayembe (KRC Genk, Belgium), Brian Bayeye (Ascoli Calcio, Italy), Rocky Bushiri (Hibernian FC, Scotland)

• Midfielders
Samuel Moutoussamy (FC Nantes, France), Gaël Kakuta (Amiens SC, France), Edo Kayembe (Watford, England), Yoane Wissa (Brentford, England), Théo Bongonda (FC Spartak Moscow, Russia), Aaron Tshibola (Hatta Club, UAE), Silas Katompa (VFB Stuttgart, Germany), Charles Pickel (US Cremonense, Italy), Grady Diangana (West Bromwich Albion, England)

• Forwards
Cedric Bakambu (Galatasaray SK, Turkey), Elia Meshack (BSC Young Boys, Switzerland), Fiston Mayele Kalala (Pyramids FC, Egypt), Simon Banza (Sporting Braga, Portugal)

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