The two sides will meet at the Bingu National Stadium in their Group D fixture. The 2021 runners-up Egypt and Guinea are the other two sides in the group, so the race for the top two spots in the group is set to be interesting.
Malawi and Ethiopia both made it to the finals in the 2021 edition, with the hosts eliminated in the round of 16 by Morocco and Ethiopia failing to make it past the group stage.
Malawi vs Ethiopia Head-to-Head
The two sides have locked horns 12 times in competitive fixtures so far. The fixture has been closely contested between them, with as many as six games ending in draws. The two sides are evenly matched at the moment with three wins apiece.
This will be the third meeting between the two sides in the AFCON qualifiers. They met twice in the qualifiers for the 2015 edition, with one game ending in a win for Malawi and the second one ending in a goalless draw.
They last met in a friendly match last year, with Ethiopia securing a comprehensive 4-0 win.
Malawi form guide (all competitions): L-D-W-L-L
Ethiopia form guide (all competitions): D-D-L-D-L
Malawi vs Ethiopia Team News
Mario Marinica has named a 25-man squad for the games against Ethiopia and Guinea from a provisional squad of 30 players announced last month. Captain Limbikani Mzava has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Richard Mbulu, Robin Ngalande, William Thole, Zebron Kalima and Peter Cholopi have not made it to the final squad due to undisclosed reasons.
Injured: Limbikani Mzava
Getaneh Kedebe has been left out of the squad due to disciplinary reasons. There are no reported injuries for the Walias.
Suspended: Getaneh Kedebe
Malawi vs Ethiopia Predicted XIs
Malawi (3-4-1-2): Ernest Kakhobwe (GK); Denis Chembezi, Mark Fodya, Gomezgani Chirwa; Francisco Madinga, John Christopher Banda, Chimwenwe Idana, Stanley Sanudi; Gabadinho Mhango; Gaddie Chirwa, Khuda Muyaba
Ethiopia (4-3-3): Fasil Gebremichael (GK); Asrat Tunjo, Suleiman Hamid, Remedan Yesouf, Yared Baye; Mesoud Mohammed, Shemeles Bekele, Binyam Belay; Abubeker Nassir, Yigezu Bogale, Amanuel Gebremichae
Malawi vs Ethiopia Prediction
The Flames have the home advantage in the match but Ethiopia will also be playing all of their home games in Malawi in the qualifiers. They have been training in the country for some time and would have gotten acclimatized to the environment by now.
Ethiopia played two friendly games ahead of the qualifiers, which ended in draws. This will be Malawi's first game since January, so we expect them to struggle a bit against their northern rivals but should be able to secure a draw here.
Prediction: Malawi 1-1 Ethiopia