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Somalia national football team
World Cup Qualifying - Africa | Group Stage
Jun 10, 2024 at 2pm UK
Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto
Botswana national football team

1 - 3

Hassan (74')
Ali (60')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Sesinyi (10'), Gaolaolwe (53'), Seakanyeng (71' pen.)
Ramotse (50'), Phoko (90+1')

Preview: Somalia vs. Botswana - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's World Cup Qualifying - Africa clash between Somalia and Botswana, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Gameweek four in Group G of the CAF World Cup Qualifiers will see Somalia taking on Botswana at the Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto on Monday afternoon.

Owing to security concerns and the failure to meet CAF standards with their stadium infrastructure, Somalia's 'home' games will be played in neighbouring Mozambique.

Match preview

Botswana during their African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match in Cairo on June 5, 2024© Reuters

After years of horrific drought and unrest that destabilized football development in the country, Somalia have returned to competing on the international stage in recent times, though there is evidently a long way still to go until they are likely to challenge for top honours.

The Ocean Stars have never qualified for the World Cup in their history, nor have they made it to the main draw of the Africa Cup of Nations, and they will have to wait a while longer to accomplish the latter having been knocked out of qualifying for the 2025 AFCON by Eswatini back in March.

In this competition, Somalia are bottom of the table and yet to earn their first point after their first three games, losing 3-1 and 1-0 to Algeria and Uganda, respectively, back in November last year, while they were defeated 2-1 by Mozambique last Friday.

Against Os Mambas, the Ocean Stars conceded two early goals in the first half before Ismail Shirwa pulled one back late in the day, though the side were unable to find a leveller in the closing stages.

With that result, Somalia are now winless in their last 14 games, including 12 losses and two draws, dating all the way back to a COSAFA Cup victory over Burundi in December 2019.

Meanwhile, Botswana also did not make the trip to the Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year after finishing third in their qualifying group behind Tunisia and Equatorial Guinea.

The Zebras are currently second-bottom of their group in this competition with three points after three games but are still well in with a shot of qualifying for the World Cup with the group still wide open with four teams currently tied on six points each.

Didier Gomes Da Rosa's side's points came courtesy of a 1-0 against-the-odds victory over Guinea in gameweek two, while on either side of that, they suffered defeats, first at home to Mozambique and most recently away to Uganda last week.

Following three consecutive international friendly draws back in March, including back-to-back goalless matches, Botswana are now winless in their last four games in all competitions and have failed to score in over 200 minutes of playing time.

Additionally, they have not won a match on the road in their last five attempts and have failed to find the back of the net in their last four outings since their 2-1 loss to South Africa in July last year.

Somalia World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:

Somalia form (all competitions):

Botswana World Cup Qualifying - Africa form:

Botswana form (all competitions):

Team News

Somalia will be able to welcome Abdirizak Mohamed back to the side for this match after the attacker was forced to sit out the loss to Mozambique, having been shown a red card against Uganda in gameweek two.

Shirwa will be hoping to be promoted to the starting 11 after scoring off the bench last time out, which could see Ismail Haji heading the other way after being withdrawn early in the second half of the same match.

Botswana's lack of goals in recent times is bound to be a major concern for Da Rosa and co, and the French manager may consider shaking things up in the forward positions, which could open the door for Thabang Sesinyi to return to the attack.

Motsholetsi Sikele was given the nod at right-back in the last match but Alford Velaphi is expected to be brought back in for this match, and he will likely round out the defence alongside Tebogo Kopelang, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe and Kitso Mangolo.

Somalia possible starting lineup:
Jama; Elmi, Ahmed, Suleiman, Mohamed; Shirwa, Gigli, Abdullahi; Ali, Abatari, Awad

Botswana possible starting lineup:
Phoko; Sikele, Kopeland, Ditlhokwe, Mangolo; Mohutsiwa, Gaolaolwe; Orebonye, Baruti, Seakanyeng; Sesinyi

SM words green background

We say: Somalia 0-1 Botswana

While Somalia have performed valiantly in this competition, there is an evident gulf in class between themselves and the rest of the teams in the group, and it seems unlikely that they will be able to challenge for qualification.

Botswana have been far from their best in recent times as well, but they will fancy their chances against this opponent, and we feel they will manage to edge this result, albeit by a slender margin.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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