The Kenya national team Harambee Stars will be welcoming their Congolese counterparts in the fifth match of the qualifiers in Group E on Sunday 5 June at the Moi International Sports Center (MISC) Kasarani.
Kenya is last in the group below Zambia, Congo and Guinea Bissau in ascending order and will be playing the match just as a formality since the Stars cannot book a ticket to Gabon after managing just a point from the previous four matches.
Head coach Stanley Okumbi has trimmed the team to a 25-man squad from which the best 18 will be selected duty against the Red Devils.
Gor Mahia’s Boniface Oluoch is expected to start between the sticks as Joakins Atudo, Aboud Omar, David Owino and Brian Mandela shield him in defence.
Sweden based Michael Olunga and Zambian based Jesse Were are expected to do duty up-front as Okumbi looks for his maiden victory with the Harambee Stars since his appointment.
Statistically, the two teams’ last meeting was in 2015 in the first leg which ended in a 1 – 1 draw.
Kenya has not won any of its last six matches; the last win coming at the CECAFA Senior Challenge in Ethiopia in 2015. It lost to Guinea Bissau twice and drew with Tanzania and Sudan respectively in May, having lost to Zanzibar and drawn with Rwanda in the previous matches.
On the other hand, in all competitions, Congo won two of its last six matches, drew in two and lost two; a signal that they will be an obvious favorite against Harambee Stars on Sunday.
In the latest FIFA Rankings, Congo is placed at position 60 in the world and 11th in Africa while Kenya comes way behind at position 129 and 41 in Africa.
Notably, Congo has won the Africa Cup of Nations once in 1972 while Kenya is yet to lift the trophy and last participated in it in 2004.