Nigeria, Tunisia, and Egypt are in line to seal three of the five exclusive spot reserved for the Confederation of African Football (CAF), at the 2018 FIFA world cup.
- Guinea vs Tunisia (Stade du 28 Septembre, Conakry)
- Libya vs DR Congo (Stade Mustapha Ben Jannet, Monastir)
The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia are considered favorite to finish top of an evenly matched group when they take on Guinea in Conakry. A win for Tunisia and a favorable result (draw) in Monastir where Libya host DR Congo will confirm their 5th appearance at the FIFA World Cup.
Standings: Tunisia (10pts), DR Congo (7pts), Guinea (3pts), Libya (3pts).
- Nigeria vs Zambia (Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo
- Cameroon vs Algeria (Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaoundé)
There are 10 AFCON titles resident in this group, with Cameroon providing half of that count. Astonishingly, qualification most likely would be sealed before the final group game with the indomitable lions far-off the mark. Nigeria will advance to FIFA’s quadrennial event with a home win against Zambia in Uyo, while on paper what seem to be a blockbuster fixture in Yaoundé between Cameroon and Algeria, becomes inconsequential
Standings: Nigeria (10pts), Zambia (7pts), Cameroon (3pts), Algeria (1pt)
- Mali vs Ivory Coast (Stade du 26 Mars, Bamako)
- Morocco vs Gabon (Stade Mohammed V, Casablanca)
All four teams head into match day 5 with the realization of being fully involved in the qualifying race albeit some standing on mathematical grounds. On paper, Ivory Coast should be able to consolidate their position as they travel to Bamako to take on the Eagles of Mali who remain the only team in the group yet to secure a win. In Casablanca, Hervé Renard’s desert foxes look poised for a win, even if Gabon have in their fold, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, one of the most lethal poacher in world football.
Standings: Ivory Coast (7pts), Morocco (6pts), Gabon (5pts), Mali (2pts)
- South Africa vs Burkina Faso (FNB Stadium, Johannesburg)
- Cape Verde vs Senegal (Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde)
This group have seen upsets in results (South Africa 1-2 Cape Verde), as it has an order for a replay. FIFA ordered a replay of the South Africa v Senegal match after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the lifetime ban of match referee Joseph Lamptey who was in charge of the abolished tie in which originally, South Africa had defeated Senegal 2–1.While South Africa has accepted the ruling, Burkina Faso has launched an appeal in CAS. On the pitch, the FNB Stadium has the most crucial; a defeat for bafana-bafana extinguishes their hopes of securing a world cup birth. Cape Verde can go top with a home win against Senegal’s Taranga Lions.
Standings: Burkina Faso (6pts), Cape Verde (6pts), Senegal (5pts), South Africa (4pts)
- Uganda vs Ghana (Mandela National Stadium, Kampala
- Egypt vs Congo (Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria)
Regarded as the group of death, no surprise as three of the four teams grouped can still secure the sole ticket to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Egypt sits atop will host Congo in Alexandria with a win piloting what should be a successful qualifying series only if the other fixture between Uganda and Ghana ends in a stalemate.
Standings: Egypt (9pts), Uganda (7pts), Ghana (5pts), Congo (1pt)
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place in Russia, from 14 June – 15 July, with 32 teams.