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Five African nations to seal WCup spots

Yaya-Toure-131012-WithIdrissaGueye-R-300Five games remain, spread over Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, to identify the five nations who will represent Africa at the World Cup in Brazil.

Saturday sees Ethiopia travel to Nigeria to overturn a 2-1 deficit against the Super Eagles, while Casablanca, Morocco, plays hosts to Senegal’s clash with the Ivory Coast, who won the first leg 3-1 in Abidjan last month.

Ethiopia coach Sewinet Bishaw has brought backSouth Africa-based striker Getaneh Kebede for the second leg after a knee injury prevented him from partaking in the first leg.

Super Eagles boss Stephen Keshi has called up defender Kenneth Omeruo, part of the Africa Cup of Nations title-winning squad.

France-based goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama returns, while Rueben Gabriel, Chigozie Agbim, Francis Benjamin, Solomon Kwambe, Azubuike Egwuekwe and Sunday Mba also take their places in the squad.

“The game against Ethiopia is very important for the country and the players are all aware of what stands before them and a place in Brazil,” Enyeama said.

Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi has lost VfB Stuffgart defender Boka Arthur and Montpellier’s Siaka Tiene to injury, while Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote is suspended as they prepare to face Senegal.

Senegal, playing in Morocco due to an October 2012 riot during an Africa Cup of Nations in Dakar between the two sides, have continued to exclude Chelsea striker Demba Ba, while Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara was also not required.

Zarko Toure, Mame Birame Diouf and Pape Kouly Diop received recalls.

On Sunday, Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles travel to face Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions in Yaounde following the sides’ 0-0 draw in Tunisia in October.

Tunisia coach Ruud Krol knows his side faces a tough task in attempting to appear at their fifth World Cup, with their last appearance being at the 2006 showpiece in Germany.

“It will not be an easy match, but I trust all my players and know they can win. It’s difficult but not impossible,” Krol said.

The Dutchman has made seven changes to his squad from the first leg, dropping the likes of Wahbi Khazri and Yousef El Mesakni.

Montpellier midfielder Jamel Saihi returns from injury but Issam Jemaa and Toulouse defender Aymen Abdennour, who is injured, miss out.

Cameroon coach Volker Finke has recalled Guy Roland Ndy Assembe, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Vincent Aboubakar, with Samuel Eto’o again featuring.

On Tuesday, Egypt attempt the impossible to overturn a 6-1 deficit against Ghana’s Black Stars, while Burkina Faso hold a slender 3-2 advantage over Algeria , who host them in Bilda.

The Stallions have been boosted by the return of playmaker Alain Traore, who has been missing in national colours since the Africa Cup of Nations.

Coach Paul Put also called up Traore’s younger brother Bertrand, who has signed a contract with Premier League club Chelsea.

The Desert Foxes brought back Inter Milan pair Saphir Taider and Ishak Belfodil, along with Stade Reims defender Aïssa Mandi.

Ghana have met Fifa regarding security concerns as they travel to Cairo to face Egypt.

Earlier in the week, Fifa insisted the match would go ahead, but agreed to meet Ghanian officials.

Coach Kwesi Appiah named Schalke’s Kevin-Prince Boateng in his 24-man squad to face the Pharaohs, after Boateng missed the first leg due to injury.

Ukraine-based Dominic Adiyiah and Esperance defender Harrison Afful both also feature.

The Pharaohs, five goals behind, have made two changes to their final squad following their hammering last month.

Hull City’s Ahmed Elmohamady and Abdallah El-Said were dropped by coach Bob Bradley, with no other adjustments.

– Sapa

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