The Sierra Leone national team head coach John Keister has officially unveiled his 38-man provisional squad ahead of their highly anticipated Group A 2023 AFCON qualifier against Nigeria’s Super Eagles.
The announcement, made through the Sierra Leone Football Association’s official Twitter handle, has ignited optimism among the Leone Stars fans, who are very positive their team will make the final roster of teams to feature at next year’s tournament in Cote d’Ivoire.
— Sierra Leone Football Association (@SLFA_sl) June 5, 2023
The provisional squad is a blend of talent from within Sierra Leone and abroad, with 26 home-based players and 12 foreign-based players vying for a spot in the final selection.
Coach Keister’s decision to include a substantial number of players from the domestic league demonstrates his belief in the capabilities of local talents while also acknowledging the influence and experience that foreign-based players can bring to the team.
Some of the notable names in Sierra Leone’s provisional squad include England-based defender Steven Caulker, Kamil Conteh, Alhaji Kamara, Idris Kanu, Lamin Conteh, Mohamed Kamara and Daniel Karim, among others.
The upcoming clash between the Leone Stars and the Super Eagles is scheduled for 18 June at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Liberia.
The venue choice is due to Sierra Leone’s ongoing suspension from hosting international matches on their home soil.
Despite this setback, the Leone Stars will hope to give the Super Eagles a run for their money as they seek to secure crucial points in their quest for qualification to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
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Sierra Leone are currently placed third in the group and must get a win against Super Eagles to have a realistic chance of reaching the 2023 AFCON slated to hold in Ivory Coast in 2024.
In the reverse fixture between the two teams played in June 2022 at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, the Super Eagles came from a goal down to beat Sierra Leone 2-1.
The Leone Stars will be gunning for revenge this time.
For Nigeria, a point from their remaining two group matches will be enough to secure their place at the next edition of the continent’s flagship competition.
Meanwhile, PREMIUM TIMES has reliably gathered that Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro is also putting the finishing touches to his own list for the last set of games in the AFCON qualifying series.
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