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MBABANE – If you have managed a goalless draw away, the odds of winning at home are high.

That is exactly what an avid football follower is envisaging ahead of the second leg of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, where Sihlangu will host Cape Verde away from home.
Dominic Kunene’s troops are hosts on foreign land, following the Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s directive that all countries who do not have stadiums that meet their standards must find alternative venues outside their borders.


Eswatini chose Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit to host the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde, who they held to a goalless draw last Friday at their own backyard. Somhlolo National Stadium and Mavuso Sports Centre both do not qualify to host CAF matches at the moment. The odds favour the home side, as they welcome back experienced captain and Zesco United right-back Lindo Mkhonta and one of the most improved midfielders in Eswatini in Kwakhe Thwala. The pair could not play in the away encounter against Cape Verde due to suspensions.


While Mkhonta is expected to bring stability at the back, Thwala is sure to bring creative play and flow in the middle of the park and possible amplify scoring opportunities for the hosts.
The visitors, on the other hand, are minus their most influential striker and Sporting Lisbon’s Jovane Cabral who is out due to injury. This could work in favour of the home side. The Kunene-led technical bench will bank their hopes on Green Mamba and last season’s runner-up striker Sabelo ‘Sikhali’ Ndzinisa and Young Buffaloes forward Njabulo Maziya. While the latter is still wet behind his ears, the duo has been on-form in the league. Sandile ‘Saviola’ Gamedze when he is at his best could provide more attacking options upfront.


Speaking of threats, the away side will be coming into this match looking for maximum points, after failing to do so at home and they could possible and easily win as they boast over 20 internationals in their squad who play in top leagues in the world. Some of them are San Jose Earthquakes’ Jamiro Monteiro, who ply his trade in the United States of America, Al –Nasr from United Arab Emirates’ Captain Ryan Mendes , Olympiacos’ Garry Rodrigues, a top side Greece and Benfica’s Gilson Tavares. Sihlangu who are currently one place from the bottom, need no motivation in this clash, as a win will steer them to second. It is a do or die clash.

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