Patrice Neveu is full of surprises as he names his 20-man squad early for next month's FIFA World Cup qualifier
The Democratic Republic of Congo coach Patrice Neveu has moved early to name his squad for the vital FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Malawi on 11 October and dropped a bombshell with his decision to axe captain Shabani Nonda.
Nonda has been left out of a 20-man squad for the Group 12 match in Blantyre, with the French-born coach explaining Nonda is surplus to requirements for a match in which the Congolese must avoid defeat. "My choice is based on my analysis of the last game," Neveu told local radio. "It is a decision that I have taken as part of my responsibility as coach."
The Congolese will also miss Belgian-based midfielder Zola Matumona, who accumulated another yellow card in their last FIFA World Cup qualifier to earn an automatic one-match ban.
Also dropped are Christopher Oualembo from Levante in Spain, Tresor Kandol from Leeds United in England and the German-based pair of Cedric Makiadi and Kosi Saka. But coach Patrice Neveu has kept Qatar-based forward Tresor Lomana LuaLua in his 20-man squad. LuaLua lasted just 10 minutes of the Congolese's last qualifier at home to Egypt earlier this month, failing to overcome a niggling injury as Neveu gambled on his fitness.
The Congolese lost 1-0, meaning they must avoid defeat away in Malawi to stand any chance of progressing to the last phase of the African FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
There is also a first call-up for French-born Granddi Ngoyi, who made his debut at Paris St Germain last season.
Goalkeepers: Robert Kidiaba (TP Mazembe Englebert), Nicaise Kudimbana (Union St Gilloise, Belgium), Parfait Mandanda (Girondins Bordeaux, France)
Defenders: Gladys Bokese (Daring Club Motema Pembe), Rodrigue Dikaba (Beauvais, France), Hérita Ilunga (West Ham United, England), Joël Sami (Amiens, France), Gabriel Zakuani (Fulham, England)
Midfielders: Yannick Bapupa (Gefle, Sweden), Larys Mabiala (Paris St Germain, France), Marcel Mbayo (Lokeren, Belgium), Cédric Mongongu (Monaco, France), Youssouf Mulumbu (Amiens, France), Granddi Ngoyi (Paris St Germain, France), Tshinyama Tshiolola (Lokeren, Belgium)
Strikers: Lofo Bongeli (AS V Club), Lomana Trésor LuaLua (Al Arabi, Qatar), Blaise Mbele (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Dieumerci Mbokani (Standard Liege, Belgium), Tresor Mputu (TP Mazembe Englebert)