Congo vs Liberia - Central Africans to edge tight contest

Red Devils set for first win of qualifying campaign
Congo look set to pick up first win of AFCON Qualifiers (Getty Images)
Congo look set to pick up first win of AFCON Qualifiers (Getty Images)

Congo vs Liberia Match Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips 


Congo welcome Liberia to the Stade Alphonse Massamba-Debat for their third Group G fixture in the 2019 African Cup of Nation qualifiers. Both teams are coming off draws in their previous fixtures but the hosts are favourites to secure their first win of the campaign.

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Congo


The Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Zimbabwe in their last match in the qualifying series. They conceded early in the first half but struck back after the break through Thievy Bifouma to earn their first point of the campaign.

Valdo Filho's men are still seeking their first win of the qualifiers having begun their campaign with a 3-1 defeat to DR Congo. They are currently third in the standings level on one point with the visitors who are bottom.

Bifouma has been included in the squad for the double header against Liberia and is expected to start on Thursday. The attacker should line up alongside Junior Makiesse and Dzon Delarge who both impressed against Zimbabwe.

Congo have enough quality to see off bottom team Liberia (Getty Images)

Liberia


The Lone Stars are coming off a draw in their previous match in the AFCON Qualifiers, they were to a 1-1 draw at home by DR Congo. They took the lead through William Jebor but conceded seven minutes from time to settle for a share of the spoils.

Thomas Kojo's team are also without a win in the qualifiers having begun their campaign with a 3-0 defeat away at Zimbabwe. They are level on one point with Thursday’s hosts but currently sit bottom of the standings due to an inferior goal difference.

Wydad Casablanca striker Jebor is expected to start on Thursday following his goal in the fixture against DR Congo. The 26-year-old is having a fine season with his Moroccan club and will hope to carry his form into the national team.

Head-to-Head 


Congo have emerged victorious in their two previous matches against Liberia having faced the West Africans twice in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. They claimed a 3-0 victory at home before winning 2-0 in Monrovia.

Match-Up


Congo will be looking to their front three of Bifouma, Makiesse and Delarge to provide the spark in attack. All three men are quick and tricky and should have too much quality for Teah Dennis and Kemoh Kamara in the Liberia defence.

Jebor appears to be the biggest attacking threat for Liberia and is likely to start as the lone man up front. The striker could however struggle to get past Marvin Baudry and Fernand Mayembo at the back for Congo.

Congo forward Bifouma Thievy could be the man to watch for the hosts (Getty Images)

Key Statistics


  • Congo have won their 2 previous matches against Liberia (All Competitions).
  • Congo have seen Under 2.5 goals in their last 8 home matches (AFCON Qualifiers).
  • Liberia have lost 5 of their last 8 away matches (All Competitions).
  • Liberia have seen Under 2.5 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches (All Competitions).

Verdict


Congo have some decent quality within their squad and are the favourites to claim the win in front of their fans. Recent matches involving these teams suggest this will not have a lot of goals.

Best Bet: Congo Win @ 1.45
Value Bet: Congo Win & Under 2.5 goals @ 2.37
Correct Score Bet: Congo Win 2-0 @ 5.65
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Eric Smith 10 October 2018

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