(Sporting Alert) — Burkina Faso and Ethiopia will seek to take pole position in Group C when the pair meet in the Africa Cup of Nations at Mbombela Stadium.
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Date: Friday 25 January with Kick-off at 18:00 GMT
Coverage: TV coverage on Eurosport and ITV
Earlier Group C favourites Nigeria and holders Zambia played to a 1-1 draw, blowing the race to win the group wide open.
Ethiopia played to a draw with Zambia in their opening game, while Burkina Faso, who will start favourites to win today, also tied their first round group match.
Striker Alain Traore started for Burkina Faso against Ethiopia after scoring the late equalizer against Nigeria.
Marseille midfielder Charles Kabore has been handed a starting place, with head coach Paul Put determined to get a positive result today.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Zerihun Tadele has replaced the suspended Jemal Tassew after his red card in the last game.
The Ethiopian were seen as the weak link in the group, but Put is taking nothing for granted.
“We have a lot of respect for the Ethiopian team. Any team that can draw with Zambia after playing against them with only 10 men after 30 minutes, that says a lot,” he said.
“They are physically very strong because they are used to playing and training at an altitude of 3,000 feet – it also means they will recuperate faster than us, but we will not make excuses.”
Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw is hoping for a win today, but more importantly, he’s looking for another positive performance from his team after the Zambia draw.
He said: “The match against Zambia was our first experience after 31 years so, it was fantastic for our football.
“The players have shown their characters, and they have shown the rest of the world they can play football.”
QUICK FACTS FROM SKYBET
Burkina Faso is at 5/6 for win, Draw 12/5 and Ethiopia 7/2
Moumouni Dagano is 5/1 to score first, with Saladin Said at 13/2.
TEAMS STARTING LINE-UPS
Burkina Faso v Ethiopia
Burkina Faso: Soulama, Koffi, Bakary Kone, Keba Paul Koulibaly, Panandetiguiri, Djakaridja Kone, Kabore, Pitroipa, Alain Traore, Wilfried Sanou, Bance
Subs: Diakite, Dah, Henri Traore, Rouamba, Dagano, Ouattara, Balima, Rabo, Pan-Pierre Koulibaly, Abdou Razak Traore, Nakoulma, Germain Sanou
Ethiopia: Tadelle, Bogale, Gebreyes, Hailu, Tesfaye, Megersa, Teshome, Bekele, Hintsa, Adane Girma, Said
Subs: Bancha, Zinabu, Bune, Alula Girma, Kebede, Oukri, Elias, Ibrahim, Estifanos, Saleh, Assefa
Referee: Bernard Camille (Seychelles)