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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021 - Burkina Faso vs Gabon Preview: Kick-off time, TV channel, squad news

11:15 GMT+3 23/01/2022
Achraf Hakimi, Jim Allevinah, Gabon vs Morocco, January 2021
The Last 16 stage of Africa’s premier football tournament will kick off with the Stallions taking on the Panthers

Gabon will be keen to continue their impressive run without captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when they take on Burkina Faso in an African Cup of Nations Last-16 match at Limbe Stadium on Sunday.

Patrice Neveu and his men have so far defied the absence of Aubameyang who was sidelined by Covid-19 before returning to his Premier Soccer League club Arsenal.

Also missing OGC Nice central midfielder Mario Lemina, Gabon would want to continue their fine run against Burkina Faso.

Both teams are regarded as dark horses of this tournament.

It is a potentially stormy affair between the Panthers and the West Africans who are coached by Kamou Malo whose son Patrick is also part of the Burkina Faso squad.

GameBurkina Faso vs Gabon
DateSunday, January 23
Time18:00 CAT

TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch

Online StreamingTV Channel
DStv.com/DStv Now App https://www.showmax.com/eng/welcome/zaSuperSport TV's PSL channel 202/SuperSport TV's Variety 3 channel 208

Squads & Team News

Saidou Simpore of Egyptian Premier League side Al Ittihad is expected back after recovering from Covid-19.

The midfielder is yet to feature in this tournament after being part of the six people who tested positive on the eve of their match against hosts Cameroon two weeks ago.

While others, including coach Malo, are back and were available in the last two games against Cape Verde and Ethiopia, Simpore was the only one who remained sidelined by the virus.

The Gabon camp was hit by Covid-19 going into their last match against Morocco and they are hoping for the return of key players led by Saint-Etienne forward Denin Bouanga.

Sweden-born midfielder Serge Martinsson-Ngouali, David Sambissa, Ulrick Eneme-Ella and reserve goalkeeper Junior Noubi Fotso are the others who had also returned positive tests.

Match Preview

On January 2, Burkina Faso beat Gabon 3-0 in a friendly match in Dubai as the two teams prepared for this tournament.

They now meet again exactly three weeks later in what would be their third meeting at Afcon finals.

Previously, they clashed in the group phase of the 2015 edition with Gabon emerging 2-0 victorious.

The two sides then met again in 2017 and they drew 1-1 in a group game of a tournament Gabon were hosting.

Having edged out this year's tournament surprise package, Comoros, before drawing 1-1 against Ghana and 2-2 against Morocco in a thrilling match to reach the Round of 16, the Panthers have been impressive.

They will come up against Burkina Faso who have not been convincing having surrendered a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to Cameroon in their opening group game, before defeating Cape Verde 1-0 and being held to a 1-1 draw by Ethiopia.

But the Stallions could draw inspiration from history, having reached at least the quarter-finals in two of their last three appearances in the Afcon finals.