DR Congo forward Cedric Bakambu returns for 2019 Afcon qualifier against Zimbabwe

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The Beijing Guoan striker was dropped from the squad that drew 1-1 away in Liberia in a 2019 Afcon qualifier this month

DR Congo striker Cedric Bakambu has returned to the national team ahead of next month’s back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches against Zimbabwe.

The Leopards host Zimbabwe on October 13, before travelling to Harare three days later.

It is the inclusion of Bakambu that headlines Florent Ibenge’s 35-man provisional squad, as former Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta, now with La Liga side Rayo Vallecano, also returns.

Standard Leige winger Paul-Jose Mpoku and Saudi-based goalkeeper goalkeeper Ley Matampi are also back after missing the trip to Liberia due to injury and club commitments respectively.

Guingamp fullback Jordan Ikoko, a former France youth international was injured the last time out and should strengthen the team.

Winger Yannick Bolasie might be back in action for Aston Villa but has been dropped together with FC Porto defender Chancel Mbemba and Fulham midfielder Neeskens Kebano who are still injured.

Wolfsburg defender Marcel Tisserand is out nursing an injury.

Stoke City’s Benik Afobe has been retained, so are TP Mazembe forward Elia Meschak who grabbed DRC’s late equaliser in Liberia and Jean-Marc Makusu who has been in terrific form for AS Vita in the Caf Confederation Cup.

DR Congo are in second-place in Group G, tied on four points with leaders Zimbabwe who enjoy a superior goal-difference.

 

DRC squad

Auguy Kalambayi Sanga Balende, Joel Kiassumbua - Servette FC (Switzerland), Nathan Mabruki Daring Club Motema Pambe, Anthony Mossi - Chiasso (Switzerland), Matampi Ley - Al Ansar (Saudi Arabia) Jordan Botaka - Sint Truiden (Belgium), Nelson Munganga Omba – AS Vita, Glody Ngonda Muzinga – AS Vita, Djuma Shahani - AS Vita, Fabrice Ngoma Lwamba – AS Vita, Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele – AS Vita, Yannick Bangala Litombo – AS Vita, Djos Issama Mpeko – TP Mazembe, Arsene Zola – TP Mazembe, Glody Likondja TP – Mazembe, Mika Miche – TP mazembe, Kevin Mondeko – TP Mazembe, Ben Malango – TP Mazembe, Elia Meschak – TP Mazembe, Paul-Jose Mpoku - Standard Liege (Belgium), Christian Luyindama - Standard Liege (Belgium), Firmin Mubele - Toulouse (France), Cedric Bakambu - Beijing Gouan (China), Britt Assombalanga - Middelsborough (England), Benik Afobe - Stoke city (England), Bobo Ungenda - Primeiro Agosto (Angola), Jonathan Bolingi – Royal Antwerp (Belgium), Junior Kabananga- Astana (Kazakhstan), Chadrac Akolo – Stuttgart (Germany), Wilfried Moke – Konyaspor (Turkey), Jacques Maghoma - Birmingham city (England), Chikito Lema Mabidi - Raja Casablanca (Morocco), Gael Kakuta- Rayo Vallecano (Spain), Jordan Ikoko – Guingamp (France), Arthur Masuaku - West Ham (England)

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