D.R. Congo vs Zambia Prediction: The Chipolopolo to eke here

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Start
Day
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
Finished
Live
17 Jan 2024 23:00
Zambia
Zambia
Africa Cup of Nations
D.R. Congo vs Zambia 
Stade de San Pedro 
17.01.2024, 23:00



Sola Oluwasegun
16 Jan 2024
17:36
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D.R. Congo vs Zambia Prediction, Betting Tips & Odds │18 JANUARY, 2024

The first round of matches in the Africa Cup of Nations will conclude as DR Congo takes on Zambia at Stade de San Pedro on Wednesday evening. Group F appears to be a challenging group for both teams, featuring African powerhouse Morocco and the determined Tanzania. 

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DR Congo has faded from the spotlight in recent years and enters this year's Africa Cup of Nations with the hope of securing the title for the first time in five decades. The Leopards boast two continental titles in their history, with the most recent victory occurring in 1974 when they were known as Zaire, and the prior triumph dating back to 1968. In recent times, DR Congo has struggled to make a significant impact on the continental stage, experiencing three group-stage exits since 2000 and failing to qualify for three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournaments between 2008 and 2012.

The team faced a precarious situation in the qualifiers, losing their first two matches and resulting in the dismissal of Hector Cuper. However, the appointment of Sebastien Desabre marked a turning point as the Frenchman led the team to four consecutive victories, topping their group, which included Gabon, Sudan, and Mauritania. Subsequently, DR Congo's performance has been less stellar, with just one win in their last seven matches.

Zambia's history in the Africa Cup of Nations has been peculiar, with their last victory in the tournament dating back to February 2012 when they lifted the trophy. Following their title, Chipolopolo faced challenges in mounting a strong defense, exiting in the group stages of the next two competitions and failing to qualify for the subsequent three editions leading up to the current one. Under the guidance of former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, Zambia enters the competition with the potential to be a dark horse, showing notable improvement over the last year.

During the 2023 COSAFA Cup, Grant's side demonstrated impressive performances. They finished second in their group but went on to clinch the competition, defeating Lesotho 1-0 in the final with a decisive goal by Moyela Libamba. In the aftermath of this success, Chipolopolo played six matches, securing two wins, suffering two losses, and earning two draws. Their most recent match concluded in a 1-1 draw against Cameroon in their only warm-up game last week.

In the 12 meetings between the two teams, DR Congo has emerged victorious in just two games, while Zambia has secured double that number of wins. The remaining six encounters resulted in draws. The teams last competed in a friendly match in November 2015, where the Leopards claimed a 3-0 victory, putting an end to a 10-game winless streak in this fixture. Notably, Zambia, known as the Copper Bullets, have only kept one clean sheet in their last five games against DR Congo. Furthermore, Zambia has not registered a clean sheet in their last three matches overall.

DR Congo possible starting lineup:

M'Pasi; Masuaku, Kiranga, Mbemba, Kalulu; Kakuta, Moutoussamy, Pickel, Wissa; Bongonda, Bakambu

Zambia possible starting lineup:

Mulenga; Phiri, Sunzu, Mwape, Musonda; Kapumbu, Mafwenta, Chilufya, Banda; Daka, Sakala

Given Morocco's strong favoritism to top Group F, there is a significant emphasis on Congo DR and Zambia to compete for the second automatic qualification spot. The outcome of this match holds great importance in that context. Chipolopolo (Zambia) enters the game with superior form, and their greater attacking prowess positions them as favorites to secure a victory, albeit by a narrow margin.

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