Welcome to the AfricanFootball guide to today’s 2018 World Cup qualifying matches.

Who’s playing, where and when?

Group E – Congo v Ghana – Stade Municipal de Kintele, Brazzaville
Kick-off – 16h30 CAT

Group D – South Africa v Cape Verde Islands – Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Kick-off – 19h00 CAT

Group A – DR Congo v Tunisia – Stade des Martyrs, Kinshasa
Kick-off – 19h30 CAT

Group C – Ivory Coast v Gabon – Stade Bouake, Bouake
Kick-off – 19h30 CAT

Group D – Burkina Faso v Senegal – Stade du 4 Aout, Ouagadougou
Kick-off – 20h00 CAT

Group E – Egypt v Uganda – Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria
Kick-off – 20h00 CAT

Group C – Mali v Morocco – Stade du 26 Mars, Bamako
Kick-off – 21h00 CAT

Group B – Algeria v Zambia – Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui, Constantine
Kick-off – 22h30 CAT

What’s at stake?

Plenty. Just about all of the games on this busy afternoon/evening will be vital in determining who finishes at the top of their groups and secures qualification for the World Cup finals.

Let’s start with Group E, where the big game see leaders Uganda take on second-placed Egypt in Alexandria. The Cranes would love a draw to consolidate their place at the top of the log, but don’t count out a revenge job from the Pharaohs.

Just two points separate all four teams in Group D, but host sides Burkina Faso and South Africa will back themselves to claim victories and open up a gap between them and their opponents, Senegal and Cape Verde respectively.

One of the best games on offer will come from Kinshasa, where DR Congo will look to draw level at the top of Group A with Tunisia. The Carthage Eagles won 2-1 in the teams’ first meeting in Rades on Friday and will head to Central Africa hoping to defend their lead position.

Group C will also take a clearer shape with likely wins for Ivory Coast and Morocco against Gabon (home) and Mali (away), while Algeria will hope to win in Constantine against Algeria and give themselves hope of catching Nigeria at the top of Group B.

And which players should I keep an eye on?

Ivory Coast cruised to a 3-0 away win over Gabon on the weekend thanks to a brace from Seydou Doumbia and it’s hard to look past the striker for his side’s home game against the Panthers in Bouake.

Egypt will need Mohamed Salah to step up for their return game against Uganda, South Africa’s Tokelo Rantie scored against Cape Verde on Saturday night and will hope to repeat the feat – only this time in a winning cause – and DR Congo’s Cedric Bakambu will look to inspire the Leopards in their crunch home game against Tunisia.

Is AfricanFootball covering any of the games live?

Yes – We’ll have LIVE play-by-play coverage for no less than three matches: Congo v Ghana, SA v Cape Verde and Egypt v Uganda.

africanfootball.com

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