PREVIEW: DR Congo vs Guinea

Friday 02 February | Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe | 22:00

This AFCON must be the best we have seen in a long time. We are down to the last eight of this prestigious tournament and with all the ‘favourites’ being eliminated early, leaves the door open for an underdog to grab their opportunity of being crowned AFCON champions.

This will be the fourth meeting since 2016 between DR Congo and Guinea, with the Central Africans getting the better of the West Africans. The Leopards have won the previous two encounters in comfortable fashion with a draw back in 2016 in the African Nations Championship.

To win (90 min)
DR Congo 14/10
Draw 16/10
Guinea 22/10

DR Congo

DR Congo are into the quarterfinals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after a thrilling 8-7 penalty shootout win following a 1-1 draw in the last 16 against seven-time champions Egypt. Meschak Elia gave DRC the lead before Mostafa Mohamed equalised from the spot. Pharaoh’s keeper Mohamed Abou Gabal missed the vital kick in the shootout before his opposite number Lionel Mpasi netted the winner to the delight of the DRC travelling fans.

Surprisingly, The Leopards – ranked 67th in the world – have reached the last eight without winning a match in regulation time after drawing all three of their group games.

The Central Africans are still unbeaten after four games played with three draws and a massive victory over the Pharaoh’s. They have used their physicality to good use in this tournament and have proved difficult to breakdown. They also managed to pick up one clean sheet across these four fixtures which came against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania. The only downfall for the DRC is they fail to convert the chances they create in the final third. This will have to be highlighted by coach Sebastien Desabre and his technical team or brace themselves for a tough exit from this continental showpiece.

The key players to bring glory for The Leopards are Yoane Wissa, who plays for Brentford in the English Premier League. He showcases a well-rounded balance of speed, strength, energy, and endurance. This versatility allows him to excel in various positions on the field, complimented by his tactical adaptability and intelligence. Arthur Masuaku who currently plays for Turkish giants Besiktas, has the ability to not only defend well but to also be a creative link from the defence with his exceptional ball control and vision. The energetic Young Boys forward Meschack Elia, will need to be watched closely as he has the attacking prowess and ability to deliver a killer blow to Guinea.


The round of 16 was a bit tricky for Guinea, in their knockout clash they came up against Equatorial Guinea who to be fair looked the more promising out of the two nations. It was end-to-end and as the match edged closer to the end of stoppage time with the score deadlocked at 0-0, a dramatic twist unfolded.

Mohamed Bayo emerged as the hero for the West Africans with his late goal which ultimately secured Guinea’s victory in a closely contested encounter.

Guinea come into this fixture in hot form to say the least, with two wins, a draw, and a loss. This young group of players have stepped up for the National Elephants and have played to their strengths proving they have what it takes to compete against the best in Africa. They have a solid backline which has two clean sheets to show for it and only one error leading up to goal throughout the tournament. Guinea also has this way of soaking up pressure, playing their way out of the back and progressing the ball into dangerous areas where they can utilize counter attacking football which has worked well for the National Elephants thus far.

The West Africans of Guinea have some standout performers in this squad with Serhou Guirassy being the most notable star out of all. They have their main man fully fit and ready to improve the attacking department of the team. The prolific striker has been a standout performer in the Bundesliga with 17 goals in 14 appearances for Stuttgart. Despite the notable success, he has only managed two appearances in the four AFCON matches played so far. Anticipate increased involvement from him in this massive fixture for Guinea. Former Liverpool midfield maestro Naby Keita will need to use his experience and pull the strings in midfield for his team as they look to put the DRC to the sword and progress to the semifinals for the first time since 1976.

Prediction: DR Congo 2-1 Guinea

DR Congo have yet to secure a victory within regular ninety minutes in any of their AFCON 2023 games. Despite this, they enter the quarterfinal clash against Guinea as the marginal favourites to advance into the semifinals.

Written by Marc Strydom.