The qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations continue this week and will see Lesotho face Cote d'Ivoire at the Dobsonville Stadium in South Africa on Thursday.
Lesotho kicked off their qualification campaign on the wrong foot, losing 2-0 to Comoros in their group opener on Friday. They failed to create any noteworthy chances to alter the game and will be looking to put out a much better showing this week.
The Crocodiles will now be looking to shake off their latest result and pick up their first win this week as they push for their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations appearance.
Meanwhile, Cote d'Ivoire cruised to a 3-1 victory over Zambia in their opening game. The Elephants were dominant in the first 45 minutes but only began scoring in the second half, taking a three-goal lead before Leicester City's Patson Daka scored a late consolation strike for the Zambians.
Cote d'Ivoire sit top of the group table with maximum points and will be looking to make it two wins from two when they play on Thursday.
Lesotho vs Cote d'Ivoire Head-to-Head
Thursday's game will mark the first-ever meeting between Lesotho and Cote d'Ivoire. Both sides will now be looking to pick up maximum points and begin their qualification run on a winning note.
Lesotho Form Guide (All Competitions): L-D-D-L-L
Cote d'Ivoire Form Guide (All Competitions): W-L-L-L-W
Lesotho vs Cote d'Ivoire Team News
Katleho Makateng is recovering from a concussion he suffered last week. He has returned to training, but he is unlikely to be risked here.
Doubtful: Katleho Makateng
Maxwell Cornet, Nicolas Pepe, Odilon Kossounou and Manchester United's Eric Bailly all missed the visitors' opening game due to fitness concerns and they remain doubts for this game.
Watford defender Hassane Kamara was also absent due to personal reasons but is expected to be available for Thursday's game.
Doubtful: Maxwell Cornet, Nicolas Pepe, Odilon Kossounou, Eric Bailly
Lesotho vs Cote d'Ivoire Predicted XI
Lesotho Predicted XI (4-4-1-1): Sekhoane Moerane; Motlomelo Mkwanazi, Kopano Tseka, Basia Makepa, Thabang Malane; Rethabile Rasethuntsa, Lisema Lebokollane, Thabo Mafatle, Lehlohonolo Lenka; Tsorelo Bereng; Nkoto Masoabi
Cote d'Ivoire Predicted XI (4-4-2): Badra Sangare; Serge Aurier, Willy Boly, Simon Deli, Ghislain Konan; Max Gradel, Ibrahim Sangare, Jean-Michel Seri, Jeremie Boga; Christian Kouame, Sebastien Haller
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Lesotho vs Cote d'Ivoire Prediction
Lesotho are on a five-game winless run and have won just one of their last 16 games, a run dating back to 2019.
Cote d'Ivoire ended a three-game losing streak with a dominant performance last time out. They sit 92 places above their midweek hosts in the FIFA rankings and should easily win this one.
Prediction: Lesotho 1-3 Cote d'Ivoire