Sports Mole previews Sunday’s World Cup Qualifying – Africa clash between Sudan and Congo DR, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The action continues in Group of the 2026 World Cup when Sudan and Congo DR go head to head at the Martyrs of February Stadium on Sunday.
Both sides head into the weekend off the back of contrasting opening-day results, with Les Leopards claiming a comfortable victory over Mauritania on home soil....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Sudan were denied a dream start to their quest for a World Cup ticket as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Togo at the Martyrs of February Stadium on Thursday.
Milton Keynes Dons striker Mohamed Eisa converted his 17th-minute penalty to put the hosts in front but Kevin Denkey pulled one back on the stroke of half time to force a share of the spoils.
Prior to that, Sudan were on a three-game losing streak across all competitions, including successive defeats against Mauritania and Congo DR in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
This poor run of results saw Sudan’s dreams of a first AFCON appearance since 1973 come to a disappointing end as they finished rooted to the bottom of Group I with just six points from a possible 18.
However, Thursday’s draw means the Secretarybirds have now gone unbeaten in four of their last five home games — claiming two wins and two draws — with a 3-0 defeat against Mauritania on June 20 being the exception.
While James Kwesi Appiah’s men will look to get up and running in the qualifiers this weekend, they go up against an opposing side who have won six of their last eight encounters since March 1967.
Congo DR, on the other hand, could not have hoped for a better start to the World Cup qualifiers as they picked up a 2-0 victory over Mauritania at the Stade des Martyrs last Thursday.
Following a goalless first half, Brentford striker Yoane Wissa broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute to set the hosts on their way before Theo Bongonda made sure of all three points with an 81st-minute strike.
This was in keeping with their impressive run in the AFCON qualifiers where they picked up four wins in their six matches to finish top of Group I with a two-point cushion over second-placed Mauritania.
Les Leopards have now won each of their last five competitive matches, scoring 12 goals and keeping four clean sheets since a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Senegal in the Africa Nations Championship back in January.
Congo DR, who are currently 65th in the latest FIFA World Rankings, have featured in the World Cup just once, which came in 1974, when they lost each of their three matches to crash out in the group stages.
Sebastien Desabre’s men came close to booking their spot in Qatar last year, but after topping Group J of the qualifiers with 11 points, they fell to a 5-2 aggregate loss against Morocco in the playoffs.
Sudan World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:
Sudan form (all competitions):
Congo DR World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:
Congo DR form (all competitions):
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Ramadan Agab was forced off injured shortly after the half-hour mark against Togo on Thursday and the 34-year-old is a major doubt for this weekend’s clash.
Eisa had a debut to remember in the aforementioned game and the 29-year-old forward should lead the Sudan attack once again, alongside Pharco FC man Saif Thierry.
At the defensive end of the pitch, we expect an unchanged back four of Bakhit Khamis, Mohamed Saeed, Mustafa Karshoum and skipper Ramadan Agab, with Mohamed Mustafa starting between the sticks.
With his strike against Mauritania, Wissa now has three goals in 15 appearances since his debut in October 2020 and the Brentford striker will be looking to deliver the goods once again.
Wissa should team up with Meschack Elia and Galatasaray’s Cederic Bakambu in the finals third, while Henoc Baka and Marseille’s Chancel Mbemba should form the centre-back pairing once again.
Sudan possible starting lineup:Mustafa; Khamis, Saeed, Karshoum, Zayed; Hamed, Abuaagla, Adil, Mahmoud; Eisa, Thierry
Congo DR possible starting lineup:M’Pasi; Kalulu, Mbemba, Baka, Ditu; Pickel, Moutoussamy, Kakuta; Elia, Wissa, Bakambu
We say: Sudan 0-2 Congo DR
Following their impressive opening-day victory, Congo DR will head into the weekend with sky-high confidence and they look to strengthen their position in the table. Desabre’s men have enjoyed the better of this fixture and we are backing them to extend their dominance over Sudan who have failed to win their last four matches.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data
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Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi provides Ansu Fati injury update
Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi provides an injury update on Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring problem....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Brighton & Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi has confirmed that Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati is set to remain sidelined with a hamstring injury until February.
Fati was forced off in the first half of the Seagulls’ 3-2 win away against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League two weeks ago.
De Zerbi initially stated that the 21-year-old is facing “a long time” on the sidelines along with Tariq Lamptey, who also picked up a muscle problem in the victory at Forest.
Recent reports have hinted that Fati has made progress in his recovery from injury, but De Zerbi has since suggested that the Spaniard will not be available for selection any time soon along with Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso who are still recovering from respective muscle and knee issues.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday ahead of Brighton’s encounter with Burnley on Saturday, De Zerbi said: “The news about Ansu Fati is, I think he needs three months from the day of the injury.
“It’s bad news for us because he was playing better, he was understanding better the idea.
“I’m sorry for him, I’m sorry for the team, especially now when Welbeck is not playing, Enciso is not playing.”
Fati, who has chipped in with four goals and one assist in 12 starts for Brighton since joining on loan from Barcelona, is set to miss the next nine matches across all competitions.
Brighton are also having to cope without long-term absentees Solly March (knee) and Pervis Estupinan (muscle), while Adam Webster and Facundo Buonanotte have both been ruled out of Saturday’s game due to unspecified problems.
However, De Zerbi is able to call upon both Lewis Dunk and Mahmoud Dahoud who have both served respective two and three-match suspensions.
“Webster is still unavailable to play. I don’t know when he will play,” said De Zerbi. “But it’s important for us that Dunk and Mo (Dahoud) are available because they’re both very important, especially in this moment.
“We are going through a difficult moment in terms of injuries and having two players available is important.”
Midfielder Adam Lallana is also in contention to feature after missing the 2-1 victory over Brentford on Wednesday.
Discussing Saturday’s opponents Burnley, De Zerbi said: “They have a clear idea, a clear style, I think they deserve more points.
“But it is still difficult for a small club when you win the Championship, the first year in the Premier League with young players and new players for the league is difficult.”
Brighton currently sit eighth in the Premier League table and just two points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fifth, while Burnley are still in the relegation zone and are three points adrift of safety.
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Preview: Istanbul Basaksehir vs. Hatayspor – prediction, team news, lineups
Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Turkish Super Lig clash between Istanbul Basaksehir and Hatayspor, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Istanbul Basaksehir and Hatayspor will do battle at the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium on Sunday afternoon in round 15 of the 2023-24 Turkish Super Lig season.
Both teams emerged victorious in their last outings and will be looking to pick up where they left off by securing all three points this weekend....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Istanbul Basaksehir breezed through into the next round of the Turkish Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory over lower league side Sanliurfaspor on Thursday.
Cagdas Atan’s men opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark through Dimitrios Pelkas after which Emirhan Ilkhan sealed the deal 18 minutes from time.
Prior to that, The Orange-Navy Blues were on the receiving end of a 3-2 defeat against Rizespor which left them 17th in the Turkish Super Lig table.
Awaiting them next is the challenge of an opposing outfit who are without a win from the most recent five editions of this fixture across all competitions.
Having come out on top in each of their last two matches on home turf by a combined score of 6-1, Sunday’s hosts will back themselves to secure maximum points in front of their fans.
Hatayspor just about did enough to see off the threat of Duzcespor in Wednesday’s Turkish Cup knockout tie at the Mersin Stadyumu which ended 2-1.
Volkan Demirel’s men got their noses in front through Armin Hodzic but were soon pegged back by Yakup Zorlu before Hodzic grabbed the winner in the 58th minute.
This came off the back of a thrilling 3-3 share of the spoils against Antalyaspor for Guneyin Yildizi who occupy 10th place in the standings.
Currently on a run of three straight defeats on the road, Sunday’s visitors will be keen to turn their away fortunes around on their trip to the capital.
Istanbul Basaksehir Turkish Super Lig form:
Hatayspor Turkish Super Lig form:
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Muhammed Sengezer is still out of contention for Istanbul Basaksehir through a muscle injury, while Efe Koyuncu misses out due to a knock.
The home side will also be without the services of forward Patryk Szysz who is yet to feature since early May due to a long-term knee problem.
Frenchman Mehdi Boudjemaa is unavailable for Hatayspor as he continues to nurse a muscle problem which he picked up while on loan at Ferencvaros.
Thirty-one-year-old Kamil Corekci is still a considerable way off making his return to action for the visitors from a knee injury which has seen him miss six straight matches.
Istanbul Basaksehir possible starting lineup:Babacan; Lima, Opoku, Duarte, Dubois; Ozcan, Ilkhan, Abeid; Brandao, Piatek, Turuc
Hatayspor possible starting lineup:Kardesler; Ghoulam, Demir, Kilama, Alici; Matondo, Beyaz, Dele-Bashiru; Rivas, Lamkel, Strandberg
We say: Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 Hatayspor
Basaksehir and Hatayspor boast similar defensive records heading into this one but the former have had the upper hand offensively. We are backing them to come away with the win, albeit by only a narrow margin.For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data
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