Match - Sat 8 September, 16:30,
Adebayor returns for Togo
Adebayor has played just twice since the attack on the Togo team bus that saw them withdraw from the 2010 finals in Angola.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker, a former African Footballer of the Year award winner, competed in a World Cup qualifier last November and a recent friendly against Burkina Faso but in June did not turn up for two World Cup qualifiers to the exasperation of coach Didier Six.
Adebayor’s ability to pick and choose his international assignments is tolerated because he a potential match winner for his country in a tough away encounter against the 2012 Nations Cup co-hosts and quarter-finalists.
Up against him will be the emerging star talent of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who leads Gabon’s attack in their attempt to return to the finals tournament in South Africa, where they first made their debut in 1996 Aubameyang was both hero and villain of the 2012 finals where he top scored for Gabon but then missed the decisive penalty in the quarter-final shootout loss to Mali.
Togo’s squad also includes Kossi Agassa and Floyd Ayite from Ligue 1 newcomers Stade Reims and Alaixys Romao from Lorient, also in the top flight of French football.
Gabon are without tough tackling defender Bruno Ecouele Manga of Lorient, who is injured. Their coach Paulo Duarte has stuck with the bulk of the squad that competed at the Nations Cup finals earlier this year.