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Saturday, September 30, 2023

2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Preview: Group B

Burkina Faso


FIFA Ranking: 56

AFCON Appearances: 12

Best Finish: Runners-up (2013)

Manager: Hubert Velud

Key Player

Edmond Tapsoba (Bayer Leverkusen- Germany)

As we said when previewing Burkina Faso in our preview of their group at the 2021 AFCON, Edmond Tapsoba is the best defender in African football and a transfer to one of Europe’s super clubs is overdue at this point. It appears the 23-year-old will finally get his opportunity to test himself at the highest level with rumors continuing to swirl about a move to English Premier League clubs but it is worth repeating why the Salitas youth product is worthy of such high praise. His extraordinary calm in all situations, his passing and timely tackles are crucial to Burkina Faso’s rise and a major reason why they made it to the semifinals in Cameroon.

Other players to watch

Bertrand Traoré (Aston Villa- England) A miserable 2021-22 club season filled with injuries impacted the 26-year-old’s international career as well. A goal and two assists for Traoré at the 2021 AFCON saw him lead the Stallions well in Cameroon. However, after returning to club Aston Villa with another injury suffered at the competition he was limited to three substitute appearances for Villa for the remainder of the English Premier League season. Possesses an excellent left foot and is a great dribbler capable of sneaking by multiple defenders.

Hervé Koffi (Charleroi- Belgium) An excellent shot stopper who has continued his rapid development since leaving former club Lille after a few loan spells in Belgium and Portugal. Now that he is the established starter at Charleroi the 25-year-old is only getting better and more reliable.

Lassina Traoré (Shakhtar Donetsk- Ukraine) What makes Burkina Faso’s run to fourth place in Cameroon even more impressive is that they did it without the 21-year-old striker. A devastating knee injury has kept Traoré out since late September but he is getting back into shape while he figures out his club future due to the war in Ukraine. Once he returns to action for the Stallions they are capable of defeating any team in Africa and in the meantime, 2021 AFCON breakout star Dango Ouattara proved himself to be a competent replacement.


Expectations are as high as ever for Burkina Faso but recent troubles with the leadership at the Burkinabé federation delayed the arrival of new manager Hubert Velud and he has had little time to prepare the side for the upcoming campaign. However, the talent within the Stallions squad is indisputable