We look ahead to this AFCON 2023 quarter-final tie at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan with our DR Congo vs Guinea prediction and preview.
DR Congo vs Guinea: Pre-Match Facts
- The Opta supercomputer gives DR Congo the edge, with them winning 39.9% of its 10,000 pre-match simulations inside 90 minutes compared to Guinea’s 33.4% win rate.
- DR Congo are facing Guinea for the fourth time at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, with the previous three encounters all coming in the group stages (one win each and a draw).
- DR Congo and Guinea last met in an AFCON match in the 2004 group stage, with the National Elephants coming from behind to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Titi Camara and Pascal Feindouno.
- DR Congo will play in their first quarter-final at the Africa Cup of Nations since 2017 (lost 2-1 to Ghana), while they last reached the first semi-finals in 2015 (won 4-2 vs Congo in the quarter-finals, lost 3-1 to Ivory Coast in the semi-finals).
- Three of DR Congo’s last four knockout games at the Africa Cup of Nations have been decided by penalties, with the Leopards winning two (against Egypt in the last round and against Equatorial Guinea in the third-place match in 2015) and losing one (against Madagascar in the last 16 in 2019).
- Guinea have won two of their four matches at AFCON 2023 (D1 L1), as many victories as in their previous 13 games in the competition (W2 D6 L5).
- DR Congo have drawn their last five AFCON games, their second longest such run in the competition after drawing their six group stage games across 2013 and 2015 editions.
- Guinea could win three matches at a single AFCON for the third time, last doing so when winning all three group-stage matches in 2006 (also three wins in 1976).
- Mohamed Bayo has netted two of Guinea’s three goals at AFCON 2023, and he could become the first Guinea player to score three goals at single edition since Pascal Feindouno scored four in 2006.
- Meschack Elia has been directly involved in three of DR Congo’s last four goals at the Africa Cup of Nations (one goals, two assists). He’s the only Leopards player to both score and assist a goal in a single edition across their last two tournaments (2019 and 2023).
Neither DR Congo nor Guinea were expected to be serious contenders at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, but one of these teams will be in the final four after this weekend. Ahead of a ball being kicked at AFCON 2023, the Opta supercomputer had both nations outside the top 10 most likely winners of the tournament, but with some big nations exiting already, this could be the year of the underdog.
Guinea made it to the knockout stage as the highest-ranked third-place team in the group stage, as they collected four points with a draw against Cameroon and a win over Gambia in Group C before losing 2-0 to reigning champions Senegal in their final group match. Being drawn against Equatorial Guinea in the round of 16 looked like a tough proposition, with their opponents winning Group A without a defeat. However, Mohamed Bayo scored the latest ever winning goal in an AFCON knockout match to see them off – his strike coming on 97 minutes and 38 seconds. Another goal in this match would see Bayo become the first Guinea player to score three goals at single edition since Pascal Feindouno scored four in 2006.
That goal has sent them to the quarter-finals to face DR Congo, who also progressed to the last eight in dramatic circumstances. They prevailed following a penalty shootout against one of the favourites, Egypt after the sides couldn’t be separated in normal and extra time (1-1). There were 18 penalties taken in the shootout, with goalkeeper Lionel Mpasi scoring the winning penalty.
DR Congo qualified for the knockout stage without exciting too many – they won just three points in Group F as they qualified behind Morocco with three draws. In fact, DR Congo have drawn their last five AFCON games, their second-longest such run in the competition after drawing their six group stage games across 2013 and 2015 editions.
They may have only scored three goals at AFCON 2023 so far, but DR Congo have created good chances. In fact, their expected goals (xG) total of 6.6 is the second highest among the eight quarter-finalists, behind only Nigeria (7.5), but they have underperformed their xG by the most (3.6).
Guinea are one of the least productive attacking teams left in the tournament. They may have the same tally of goals as DR Congo (3), but they have had the fewest shots (36) and the lowest xG total (3.5). In defence, they have conceded three goals overall at AFCON 2023, but have amazingly allowed opponents just four shots on target – a competition low.
DR Congo vs Guinea Head-to-Head
This will be the fourth meeting between DR Congo and Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations, but the first in the knockout rounds of the tournament. The previous three meetings all came in the group stage, with the last of these in the 2004 edition. Guinea prevailed 2-1 that day after coming from behind, in what was both sides’ opening match of the tournament.
The last competitive meeting between DR Congo and Guinea came in a November 2017 World Cup qualifier in Kinshasa. It was 1-1 until second-half added time, when two goals for DR Congo via Jonathan Bolingi and Neeskens Kebano won the game (3-1). It wasn’t enough for either side to progress to the 2018 World Cup, however.
DR Congo vs Guinea Prediction
This match looks set to be a close contest, with the Opta supercomputer’s pre-match simulations seeing over a quarter (26.7%) of the 10,000 contests played out between DR Congo and Guinea going to extra time. DR Congo are the slight favourites having won 39.9% of the pre-match sims in normal time compared to Guinea’s 33.4%, but it feels there is little chance of a big quarter-final win for either nation.
Here are the current tournament projections for both DR Congo and Guinea by the Opta supercomputer as things stand:
DR Congo vs Guinea Squads
DR Congo: Baggio Siadi, Lionel Mpasi, Dimitry Bertaud, Arthur Masuaku, Henock Inonga, Chancel Mbemba, Rocky Bushiri, Joris Kayembe, Dylan Batubinsika, Gédéon Kalulu, Gaël Kakuta, Brian Bayeye, Grady Diangana, Samuel Moutoussamy, Aaron Tshibola, Omenuke Mfulu, Charles Pickel, Yoane Wissa, Simon Banza, Meschack Elia, Fiston Mayele, Théo Bongonda, Silas Katompa Mvumpa, Cédric Bakambu.
Coach: Sébastien Desabre
Guinea: Ibrahim Koné, Aly Keita, Moussa Camara, Mohamed Ali Camara, Sekou Sylla, Julian Jeanvier, Saïdou Sow, Mouctar Diakhaby, Antoine Conté, Issiaga Sylla, Ibrahim Diakité, Seydouba Cissé, Amadou Diawara, Naby Keïta, Mory Konaté, Ilaix Moriba, Abdoulaye Touré, Aguibou Camara, Mohamed Bayo, José Kanté, Serhou Guirassy, Morgan Guilavogui, Facinet Conté, Karim Cissé, François Kamano.
Coach: Kaba Diawara