• WC 2018 Qualifiers: Three spots up for grabs in Africa

    (FIFA.com) With just five 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying berths available in the African Zone, the campaign was always going to be tense and hard-fought, and the fact that three of the groups still hang in the balance ahead of the final matchday is testament to that. While Nigeria and Egypt are already planning for Russia next year, Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal – the current leaders in Groups A, C and D respectively – have significant hurdles to negotiate before joining them.

    FIFA.com runs the rule over the fixtures on Matchday 6 – including the replayed game between South Africa and Senegal – scheduled to take place between 10 and 14 November.

    REMINDER: Only the five group winners will qualify for Russia 2018

    Group C

    An exciting finish awaits in Group C, with the two teams vying for top spot – Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco – set to clash in Abidjan. The Atlas Lions have a slight advantage in that a draw will secure them a place in Russia, while the Ivoirians have no other option but to go all out for the win. Morocco coach Herve Renard is extremely familiar with his team’s opponents, having guided Les Éléphants to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but he may have to do without one of his star players, Juventus centre-back Mehdi Benatia, who is nursing an injury. Renard’s counterpart, Marc Wilmots, will be missing two experienced heads on the pitch – Jean-Michael Seri (injury) and Eric Bailly (suspension) – but will be gaining another two off it, as legendary figures Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure have been called in to motivate the players in the run-up to the match. In the other game in the group, Gabon will host Mali in Franceville, where the two teams will be playing for nothing but pride.

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