The senior national team of Liberia, Lone Star is expected to take on Guinea Bissau today at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia in the first of a two legged World Cup 2018 preliminary showpiece.
The match, which begins at 4:00 PM Liberian time, is expected to pull more fans with 15 out of the 16 foreign based players available for the match.
The winner of the two legged encounters will play Africa champions, Ivory Coast in another two legged encounters.
The winner will qualify for the group stage comprising four teams with the winner of the group stage booking a ticket for the World Cup finals in Russia.
In a pre-match conference yesterday at the ATS, Coach Debbah told reporters that the system and starting lineup that beat the Carthage Eagle of Tunisia will be maintained for today’s encounter.
“No coach will want to change a winning team easily. We will only build on our performance against Tunisia for the Guinea Bissau match so as to pull a huge win to ease the return match,” Coach Debbah noted.
Debbah also said striker Patrick ‘Ronaldinho’ Wleh could not mat the trip to Monrovia due to injury.
Coach Debbah is expected to use what he calls a traditional 4-4-2 Diamond formation today against Guinea Bissau.
GOALKEEPER- SayleeSwen (LPRC Oilers, Local)
From all indications, experienced goaltender, SayleeSwen who plies his trade with Liberia Football Association (LFA) top-flight club, LPRC Oilers will be between the sticks after keeping clean sheet against the Carthage Eagle of Tunisia last month in a crucial 1-0 win in the second match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
His salute catches, long powerful kicks, great frame and reliability in aerial crosses would help the Lone Star as he has progressed greatly in his game.
A flat back four of Cypriot outfit Nea Salamis, Solomon Grimes, GizzieTucanDorbor of Israeli side HapoelAfula, DirkirGlay of Mpumalanga Black Aces FC of South Africa and All Ali of Jordan Teah Dennis, Jr. should stand tall against Guinea Bissau who might cause an upset on the day if they are overlooked. The fullbacks of Grimes and Dorbor will need a lot of support from the wide men defensively.
Malaysian club Sarawak player, Patrick Gerhardt should serve as the shield in front of the back four as the holding midfielder like he did against Tunisia with Swedish Allsvanskan club Djugarden high hardworking player, Sam Johnson playing alongside him as they pull the strings in the midfield. Master dribbler ZahRahanKrangar and MemelodiSundowns of South Africa versatile player, Anthony Laffor should operate at lateral midfield with their ability to track back quickly and maraud forward greatly as required.
Spanish second division side SD Ponferradina front man William Jebor and Malaysian Premier League side NS Matrix goal customer, Francis Grandpa Forkey Doe should serve as the front runners with the latter playing slightly behind the former.
Jebor is a complete customer of the net and Liberians will surely depend on him. Having scored his first international goal against Togo in the opening match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, the former LISCR FC and LPRC Oilers hit-man will be itching to put up another linchpin performance, and unlike where he lacked much service in the 1-0 win against Tunisia last month where he probed, toiled and covered lots of ground, he will certainly get more supply this time since the red, white and blue outfit is expected to be adventurous against Guinea Bissau today at the ATS.
Forkey Doe, who punished Tunisia with his 79th minute header, will hope to restore hope for Liberians after series of controversies in recent times.
His strength, dribbling skills, ball control and man marking abilities will help the team against Guinea Bissau.
He’s not the type of player who will wait to receive ball, but a tormentor and a fantastic goal scorer.
Newcomers, Dioh Williams, Marcus Macaulay and Abel Gebor will join other talented players on the substitute bench.
Murphy Oscar Dorley, who was the only used substitute against Tunisia, Trokon Zion, Adolphus Marshall, SporoSomah, Hilton Varney, Raymond Farciah and Tommy Songo will also form part of the substitutes.