Afcon co-hosts Gabon will top Group C on Tuesday in Franceville as long as they avoid defeat against Tunisia
Mouele, Apanga, Ebanega, Moussono
Aubameyang, Madinda, N'Guema
Boussaidi, Ifa, Abdennour, Chammem
Msakni, Ben Yahia, Jemaa
After ousting Morocco at the death in what was arguably the match of the tournament thus far, Gabon have their sights set on another north African foe in Tunisia. The mission for the Gabonese is to avoid a loss at all costs so that they don’t have to travel to Equatorial Guinea should they reach the semi-final stage. Considering how impressive and intimidating their home support has been, the team’s desire to stay in familiar surroundings is completely logical.
Gernot Rohr has also maintained that finishing top of Group C will give the Panthers their best chance of avoiding trophy favourites Ghana. Nothing is certain though as the Black Stars have not sealed first place in their pool and their final standing will not be known until the day after Gabon take on Tunisia. The Frenchman is expected to make some lineup changes: Moise Brou Apanga and Daniel Cousin look set to be included in the starting 11.
Although Sami Trabelsi hasn’t indicated his desire to avoid Ghana, Tunisia’s players have explicitly stated that they want to win their last match in order to remain in Gabon for the rest of their 2012 Afcon journey. The Carthage Eagles are coming off a match that their coach called their worst since he took over and will be eager to put in a more solid showing to send a message that they won’t be pushovers in the quarter-finals.
Tunisia are expected to make many changes to the team as a number of their players are threatened by suspension. Khalil Chammam and Anis Boussaidi are expected to take over on the left and right side of defence.
Bilel Ifa should be eligible to partner with Aymen Abdennour in central defence after the Confederation of African Football (Caf) recognised having wrongly put him down as having received a yellow in the first match against Morocco. Meanwhile, a midfield trio of Jamel Saihi, Wissem Ben Yahia and Jamel Saihi will be tested for the first time.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- The Tunisia and Gabon played each other was at the 2010 edition of the Afcon in Angola, with the match finishing in a goalless draw.
- Tunisia have scored four goals against Gabon on two occasions, once in a 4-0 win in 1993, and another in a 4-2 win in 2000.
- Gabon have never beaten the Carthage Eagles in the five games they’ve played against them. Their best results have been draws that they’ve achieved on two occasions.
- Panthers star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has assured Gabonese supporters that his side no longer fear any team after their impressive wins against Niger and Morocco.