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Preview: Guinea vs. Malawi

Nearly twenty players and staff are unavailable for both Malawi and Guinea as the teams prepare to square off in Bafoussam on Monday at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Malawi, already long shots to advance out of the group, are particularly impacted by Covid-19 absences with seven players set to miss out as well as co-coach Mario Marinica. Guinea are dealing with their own issues as well in a match that will be a testament to the depth within both squads.

Supporters of Guinea’s Syli Nationale will accept nothing less than a victory, especially considering the adversity Malawi is facing. Manager Kaba Diawara, undertaking his first coaching position at the senior level, will have twenty players to select from with captain Ibrahima Sory Kanté, Morgan Guilavogui, Fodé Camara and Mory Konaté all set to miss out on Monday’s match. There are no important starters missing out, however, and Guinea should feel confident after conducting their preparations in Rwanda. Captain and Liverpool FC midfielder Naby Keïta declared that his team is ready to go with plenty of confidence.

Meanwhile, Malawian supporters are just hoping for the best and that the depth players within the Flames squad can play without fear. Prominent players missing include Sheriff Tiraspol defender/midfielder Charles Petro and Orlando Pirates striker Frank “Gabadinho” Mhango. Striker Richard Mbulu, scorer of the goal that clinched qualification against Uganda, reportedly tested negative for Covid-19 after being held back in the team’s preparation site in Saudi Arabia and will arrive in time to give Malawi a capable strike duo between he and Polokwane City marksman Khuda Muyaba. Playmaker Gerald Phiri is available as well for co-coach Meke Mwase, who will be strolling the sidelines after previously being demoted to the role of co-coach.

The news links below from Malawian and Guinean media have the full lists of players for each team who will be missing.

Flames duo stuck in Saudi Arabia (The Times Group)
Let’s all rally behind Flames (Malawi24)

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