Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2021 match:
Stade de Franceville will host Thursday’s AFCON qualifier between Gabon and Gambia. Gabon played out a draw with DR Congo in their opener, with the team beating Angola 2-1 in their second group match. Les Pantheres aim to overtake Gambia in top position, but this match will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. As always, a man to keep an eye on in the home team will be Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Gambia aim to retain first position in Group D, and they are likely to adopt a cautious approach in Thursday’s qualifier. The Scorpions looked solid at the back in a 1-0 win over Congo in October friendly, meaning that a low-scoring affair is on the cards in Franceville. This will be the first meeting between Gabon and Gambia since 2011 when the Scorpions defeated les Pantheres 1-0 in a friendly game.
Highlighted Player (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang):
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the most famous Gabonese player and he is the first footballer from Gabon to appear in Bundesliga. Aubameyang played for the likes of Dijon, Lille, Monaco and St. Etienne in the past before joining Borussia Dortmund on July, 2013. The pacey attacker signed a five-year contract with the Millionaires and he has been producing outstanding performances with the Signal-Iduna-Park outfit ever since.
Aubameyang impressed in the 2015–16 Bundesliga, scoring 25 goals in 31 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, but that did not help Thomas Tuchel’s men win the domestic trophy. Speaking of his international career, the 187-cm-tall striker made his Gabon debut on 25 March, 2009 and he scored his first goal for the national team in a 3-2 win over Morocco.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped Gabon make it to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals. It has to be noted, though, that he played for France U-21 team in the past. Aubameyang was born in Laval, France on 18 June, 1989.
Highlighted Team (Gabon):
Gabon made their international debut in April 1960, with the team participating in L’Amitie tournament and it has to be noted that les Pantheres (the Panthers) were beaten by Burkina Faso in their first match. The Gabonese national football team have yet to participate at the World Cup finals, but they did well to make it to the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals on two occasions.
Les Pantheres were eliminated by Tunisia at the 1996 African Cup of Nations, while Mali proved to be a big catch for Gabon at the 2012 tournament. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is probably the most notable footballer who plays for Gabon and the Borussia Dortmund striker scored three goals for the national team at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, but he missed a penalty in the quarter-finals against Mali.
Gabon clinched the UNIFAC Cup title in 1999, while winning UDEAC Championship in 1985 and 1988. Stade Omar Bongo is considered Gabon’s home stadium.