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Guinea's national team line up for a team photo

*Qualification history
Guinea have endured a long wait to appear at a FIFA World Cup final tournament, having been excluded for political reasons ahead of Korea/Japan 2002 when they looked well placed to book a ticket. They have not come as close since, though they finished second in their group for Brazil 2014 after a campaign full of promise for the future.

*The team
In recent years, Guinea have emerged as a highly competitive force on the African continent. They reached the quarter-finals of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations on three consecutive occasions during the 2000s and returned to the last eight in 2015, leaving them hopeful of pushing on to the next level. The fact that most of their players turn out for European clubs has only aided their progression.

*The coach
Guinean Lappe Bangoura replaced Frenchman Luis Fernandez as head coach of Guinea on 24 May 2016. Bangoura led Guinea to the Orange African Nations Championship Rwanda 2016 semi-final and now his challenge is to book *Syli Nationale's *ticket to Russia 2018.

*The stat
2 – *
Guinea lost a mere two games on the road to Brazil 2014, going down on both occasions to an Egypt side that had to work hard for those victories en route to topping their group with six wins from six.

*The former stars
Aboubacar Sidiki 'Titi' Camara, Pablo Thiam