The hosts have not been in action since suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Eswatini in the third-placed playoff in the 2021 COSAFA Cup in July.
Ivory Coast return to competitive action, having played out a goalless draw with Ghana in an international friendly in June.
Mozambique secured their spot at this stage of the qualifiers following their 3-0 aggregate victory over Mauritius in 2019. Ivory Coast received a bye to the second round of the qualifiers.
Both sides have been grouped in Group D alongside Cameroon and Malawi. A positive start is required, as only the top-placed team in the group will secure qualification to the third round of the qualifiers.
Mozambique vs Ivory Coast Head-to-Head
This will be the sixth meeting between the sides and Mozambique are yet to register a victory against Ivory Coast.
The Elephants have five wins to their name, while one previous match ended in a share of the spoils.
Their last meeting came in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier when second-half goals from Bakari Kone and Mino saw both sides play out a 1-1 draw in September 2008.
Mozambique form guide: L-L-W-W-L
Ivory Coast form guide: D-W-W-W-D
Mozambique vs Ivory Coast Team News
Horácio Goncalves recently unveiled his 25-member squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Ivory Coast and Malawi. Eight clubs on the domestic scene are represented.
Coach Patrice Beaumelle called up 31 players for the games against Mozambique and Cameroon. Eric Bailly and Maxwel Cornet will, however, not make the trip to Maputo due to Mozambique being placed on the United Kingdom's 'red list' for COVID-19 protocols.
All Premier League clubs have agreed not to release players for international matches in countries on the red list.
Injuries: Gervinho, Amad Diallo
Unavailable: Eric Bailly, Maxwel Cornet
Mozambique vs Ivory Coast Predicted XI
Mozambique Predicted XI (4-3-3): Ernan Siluane (GK); Norberto Marcelino, Francisco Simbine, Zainadine, Martinho Thauzene; Shaquille Nangy, Candido Mathe, Abel Joshua; Amancio Canhembe, Witness Quembo, Melque Alexandre
Ivory Coast Predicted XI (4-3-3): Sylvain Gbohouo (GK); Serge Aurier, Ghislain Konan, Wilfried Kanon, Sinaly Diomande; Max Gradel, Jean Michael Seri, Serey Die; Jeremie Boga, Sebastian Haller, Yohan Boli
Mozambique vs Ivory Coast Prediction
The absence of several key players for Ivory Coast means that they might not be as dominant in this game as would have been the case if they had a full squad.
ALSO READArticle Continues below
Nevertheless, the West Africans still have superior quality to Mozambique and we are backing them to pick up all three points in a narrow victory.
Prediction: Mozambique 0-1 Ivory Coast