Guinea-Bissau v Burkina Faso: Cande not thinking about going home
Burkina Faso can secure a place in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations by beating Guinea-Bissau but they must overcome a team who pushed Cameroon to the brink in their previous game.
Guinea-Bissau led Group A favourites Cameroon for over an hour on Wednesday, and Baciro Cande's side are unlikely to go out quietly if this game is to be the last of their debut appearance at the tournament.
Despite being bottom of the group with one point from their first two games, the Wild Dogs of Guinea-Bissau could still get out of the pool if they claim their first win in the tournament finals and Gabon fail to beat Cameroon.
Cande insisted he was not contemplating an exit from the competition, saying: "We have to work hard against Burkina Faso and I am not really thinking about being knocked out.
"I have told my players we will play to the end and what we want is positive results. We have learned important lessons on how to defend when you are leading."
Burkina Faso will be without two key players after Jonathan Pitroipa suffered a muscle tear and Jonathan Zongo ruptured a cruciate ligament.
Should Cameroon beat Gabon, a draw would be enough to secure passage into the next round for the Burkinabe players, but striker Prejuce Nakoulma insisted "all teams still have a chance".
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Guinea-Bissau – Piqueti Djassi Brito Silva
Piqueti wrote himself into his nation's sporting history when he gave his side a 13th-minute lead against Cameroon, and the class he showed in scoring will not have gone unnoticed by Burkina Faso boss Paulo Duarte.
The 23-year-old surged from inside his own half and beat three players before slamming the ball beyond Fabrice Ondoa in the Cameroon goal, and if he is given the chance at Stade de Franceville he will be looking to advance his reputation even further.
Burkina Faso – Prejuce Nakoulma
Experienced striker Nakoulma has scored nine goals in his 36 appearances for Burkina Faso, and he showed his quality when he held off two defenders to score the opening goal in his side's 1-1 draw with Gabon.
Nakoulma has upstaged Bertrand Traore by emerging as the Burkinabe's most potent attacking threat in this tournament, and on current form he looks the most likely man to grab the goals that will send his side through to the knockout stage.
KEY OPTA STATS
- Guinea-Bissau are the only team making their debut in the African Cup of Nations this year.
- Only two of the last eight teams to make their African Cup of Nations debut have progressed to the knockout stages (Equatorial Guinea in 2012, Cape Verde in 2013).
- Meanwhile, this is Burkina Faso's 11th participation in the African Cup of Nations; their best performance was in 2013 when they were beaten finalists against Nigeria (0-1).
- Two of the three goals Guinea-Bissau have conceded in this AFCON have come from outside the box.
- Burkina Faso manager Paulo Duarte is taking charge of Burkina Faso at a third AFCON after 2010 and 2012. He's yet to win any of his seven games at the tournament with the Stallions (D3 L4).