Ethiopia in a do-or-die showdown against Sierra Leone today


After prepping for 26 days and then playing an international friendly match with Burundi, which they tied 1-1, the national team coach Abraham Mebratu pruned down his list of players to 23. Today is the second round of the group stage showdown in the 2019 African Cup.
The three foreign based players: Shimeles Bekele (Petro Jet), Oumed Oukri (Samouha), Gatoch Panom (El-Gouna) and Binyam Belay (Albanian Secenderbu Korsi) are expected in the starting lineup.
Taking in to consideration the starters in the match against Burundi, Abraham in his debut international home fixture appeared to line up a 4-4-2 formation comprised of the three internationals. Samson Assefa (Diredawa) between the woodworks, the back four  were all stars from Saint George: Salhadin Bargecho and Aschalew Tamene  in central defense while the full backs Henok Adugna and Abdulkerim Mohammed the right and left full backs respectively.
The formation is likely to be four midfielders and a diamond. Gatoch Panom is in the defensive midfield, Shimeles Bekele in a free role, Mulualem Mesfin and Binyam Belay in the wings.
It appears they will share the huge burden of the do or die showdown.
The most important department the strike force is to bring together Ethiopian most expensive players (Saint George) Getaneh Kebede to pair with Oumed Oukri or his team mate at Dedebit Abel Yalew.
Whatever the formation or the poor preparation Abraham needs to mount a win by all means for a home defeat to Sierra Leone could mean the last hope to Waliya’s recovery from the shocking 5-0 away defeat to group favorites Ghana.
Though second in the group table with three points Sierra Leone lacks a league soccer that hampers their quest for a place in the cup final, all the squad members are foreign based players amongst them, Amaoudu Bakayako (Coventry City), Alhadgi essay (Bristol City), Osman Kakay (QPR) to mention a few. The group leader Ghana visits Nairobi to face third in the table for goal differences Kenya.