Match - Sun 14 October, 17:00,
Guinea face uphill task in Niger
Niger skipper Maazou
A 50th minute goal by Naby Moussa Yattara proved to be the difference when both teams clashed in the first leg in Guinea in September.
However, the Mena of Niger have so far made the 35,000-capacity General Seyni Kountche Stadium in Niamey a fortress so much so that some of Africa’s top teams including seven-time champions Egypt, South Africa and Sierra Leone have lost there in recent times.
Only on Tuesday, at the same venue Niger outscored Liberia 4-3 in a warm-up game ahead of the visit of the Guineans.
Difficult weather and pitch conditions as well as a very supportive home crowd have combined to give Niger true home comforts in Niamey.
However, the home team would most likely find out that Guinea are also no starngers to such conditions in Conakry and so it would be the football and goals that would count at the end of the day.
Mena are now led by the Ivorian coach Francois Zahoui, who led his country to the final of this year’s Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
They also boast of several well-travelled and experienced campaigners lead by skipper Ouwo Moussa Maazou, who now plays in Tunisia with Etoile du Sahel after stints in Belgium, Russia and France.
The 23-year-old Maazou will lead the team’s attack to be supported by the Tunisia-based Alhassane Issoufou.
Goalkeeper Daouda Kassaly is with South African club Chippa United, while striker Kamilou Daouda features for CS Sfaxien in Tunisia.
Guinea’s build-up has been disrupted by the dismissal of Titi Camara as the country’s sports minister.
Former international skipper Camara was in office when a fired-up Syli National upset favourites Nigeria in Abuja last October to reach the 2012 Nations Cup.
However, in Gabon the youthful team failed to go past a first round group that included Ghana and Mali.
Wily Frenchman Michel Dussuyer is still in charge of the team, who parade Kevin Constant of AC Milan, Ibrahima Traore from VfB Stuttgart in Germany as well as exciting youngsters like Alhassane Bangoura, Sadio Diallo and Abdoul Camara.