The Malawi Flames will play against Guinea in a match that has no bearing on qualification for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). The Afcon qualifiers game is set to take place at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on September 9, 2023.
Since the Flames have already been eliminated from the Afcon qualifiers, their upcoming game against Guinea’s Sly Nationale is essentially a formality.
After being held to a goalless draw by Ethiopia, the bottom team in Group D, on June 20, 2023, at Stadio Nacional do Zimpeto in Mozambique, the Malawi Flames were eliminated from the race of the Afcon qualifier. Even if they defeat Guinea in their upcoming match, the best they can achieve is seven points, while Guinea already has nine points, trailing group leaders Egypt by three.
Both the Pharaohs and Sly Nationale have already secured their spots in the postponed Afcon finals. Now, Malawi and Guinea are set to face off in a match that holds no significance for qualification. Malawi’s coach, Patrick Mabedi, is expected to use this opportunity to further develop his team, while Guinea’s coach, Kamara Diawara, will likely treat the game as a preparatory exercise for the upcoming Afcon finals.
Malawi and Guinea’s rivalry and recent form
Malawi and Guinea have crossed paths seven times, with Guinea’s Sly Nationale clearly having the upper hand, boasting five wins to Malawi’s single victory; one match ended in a stalemate. Their most recent encounter was on June 9, 2022, when Naby Keita’s injury-time goal secured a 1-0 win for Guinea on their home turf.
In terms of current form, Malawi’s Flames have been on a roll, going unbeaten in seven straight matches in open play across various competitions under the guidance of Patrick Mabedi. Mabedi, a former Malawi captain, took over as interim coach following the departure of Romanian Mario Marinica in April of this year. Guinea, meanwhile, has had a mixed performance, with two wins and three losses in their last five outings.
Their team news and upcoming match prediction
Malawi will be without their pivotal playmaker, Chimwemwe Idana, due to suspension, but coach Patrick Mabedi has a pool of talent to fill the void, including options like Chikondi Kamanga and the recently recalled captain, John Banda. On the other side, Guinea has a strong midfield presence with Naby Keita, who was the hero in their last face-off against Malawi, poised to control the game.
As for the match prediction, a 0-0 draw seems plausible. Both teams have little at stake in terms of qualification, and it’s unlikely that Guinea will field all their star players. Therefore, a goalless stalemate could be the most likely outcome.
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