Congo coach Valdo Filho has defended his team selection after naming a provisional 36-man squad for the Afcon qualifier against Group G leaders Zimbabwe at home on September 9.
Congo captain Prince Oniangue has been ruled out of the match due to injury while there has been no place for vice-captain Delvin Ndinga and forward Dylan Saint Louis of French Ligue 2 outfit Paris FC.
Clubless midfielder Jordan Massengo has also been omitted.
“The choices of a coach are always variously interpreted, but in the end, it is up to him to answer,” Filho told Congolese publication Vox.
“I have players to take but also profiles to look at so that I can implement my philosophy of the game. To get there, I was forced to sacrifice some players.
“There are other absences I’m assuming because my role as a coach is to build a competitive team for the next five games to qualify for the AFCON 2019 finals. The old and new players are welcome in their national team, but before, everyone must convince me through his club performance.”
Congo are keen to recover from the defeat by neighbours DRC and get their campaign back on track.
They face a Zimbabwean side who are leaders in the group but plagued by injuries.
Goalkeepers: Christoffer Mafoumbi (Blackpool / England), Pavhel N’dzila (GC Star), Chancel Massa (CARA), Giskard Mavoungou (AS Cheminots)
Defenders: Marvin Baudry (Zulte Waregem / Belgium), Tobias Badila (AS Nancy / France), Baron Kibamba (Real Balcomedica Linense / Spain), Fernand Mayembo (Havre AC / France), Dimitri Bissiki (AC Leopards), Théorold Saboukoulou, Varel Rozan, Caroff Bakoua (Black Devils), Julfin Ondongo (AS Otohô), Junior Loembe (La Mancha), Chancy Danga (CARA), Samy Mampempé (CG Star)
Midfielders: Amour Loussoukou (Tunisian Stadium / Tunisia), Alexandre Obambot (FC Nantes / France), Garcia Nkouka (AS Otohô), Ibamba (JST), Harvey Ossetia, Prestige Mboungou (Black Devils), Duval Ngoma (La Mancha), Merveil Ndockyt (Getafe / Spain)
Forwards: Guy Mbenza (La Mancha), Kivutuka Cabwey (CARA), Roland Okouri, Drovely Costode (CG Star), Bercyl Obassi, Matheus Botamba (AS Otohô), Blessed Makouana (Black Devils), Thievy Bifouma (AnkargügüSpor / Turkey), Delarge Dzon (Qarabag / Azerbaijan), Junior Makiessé (Al Ahly Tripoli / Libya), Sylvère Ganvoula (VFL Bochum / Germany).