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2014 CHAN champions Libya expect advancement to the knockout stages in Algeria

The Libya national team have high expectations to live up to when they arrive in Algeria for the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) due to the excellent record the Mediterranean Knights have in the competition. The 2014 champions also finished in fourth place at the 2018 edition, making Libya apparent favorites to progress to the knockout stage out of Group A with matchups against Ethiopia, Mozambique and hosts Algeria. Despite legal troubles with the Libyan Football Federation threatening the team’s participation and a string of underwhelming results in friendly matches during their preparations in Tunisia, coach Corentin Martins expressed satisfaction and optimism ahead of the competition.

Martins called up several established players from the senior national team as well as several younger talents with top Tripoli clubs Al-Ittihad and Al Ahli well represented. Al Ahli forward Saleh Al Taher scored three goals at the 2018 CHAN and is the star of a formidable group of forwards that includes towering club teammate Anis Saltou. Al-Ittihad midfielders Omar Al Khouja and Abdelati Al-Abasi are veteran creative forces who will look to provide service for Libya’s forward line and 23-year-old Ittihad attacker Mouad Eissa is a rising name in Libyan football who did well during the club’s run to the knockout stages of the 2021-22 CAF Confederation Cup.

There are varying reports on which players are included in the final squad but it is known that Libya will be without the services of veteran center back Sanad Al Warfali after the former Raja Casablanca player withdrew from consideration following his inclusion in Martins’ initial squad. Defense appears to be a potential weak spot for Libya after DR Congo was able to defeat the Mediterranean Knights 3-1 in their most recent friendly match so it will be interesting to see if Martins has discovered the right combination in his defense after heavy experimentation during the team’s pre-tournament exhibitions. The French tactician has proven himself in African football after a successful seven-year spell with Mauritania, making Libya more than capable of a deep run.

More on the Libya team is in the links below from Libyan media following the list of players.

Libya to get back on track (CAF Online)

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