Mauritania AFCON 2023 Preview and Predicted XI

For only the third time ever, Mauritania will be in attendance at the AFCON finals and look to get out of the group stages for the first time in their history. As expected, Mauritania are way down on the odds list to win the whole thing, and as the 105th-ranked nation in the FIFA World Rankings, they have a lot to prove at this tournament.

How did Mauritania qualify for AFCON 2023?

Aboubakar Kamara (pictured below) managed to secure the top goalscorer spot from Group I of the AFCON qualifiers, as the forward scored three times across the six games. This included a decisive finish against Gabon that secured qualification for them in the final game.

Kamara's first half goal that day meant his country ended up three points clear of Gabon in the final standings, while they were also three adrift of DR Congo in first place.

Aboubakar Kamara of Mauritania
Photo by Icon sport

Mauritania AFCON 2023 Preview

Who will Mauritania play at AFCON 2023?

It's going to be a very tough task for Mauritania at AFCON 2023. The nation will have to likely get at least four points on the board and have the tough task of facing off against two teams in the top 60 of the FIFA World Rankings.

Algeria

Riyad Mahrez will captain his side at another AFCON, and his country are once again one of the favourites to win the whole thing.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso have looked significantly better in recent years and boast of impressive European-based players like Bertrand Traore.

Angola

If there is any side that Mauritania can defeat, it should be Angola. They are 12 places behind them in the FIFA World Rankings, although they also boast of some talent of their own, such as Helder Costa of Leeds United and Fiorentina's M'Bala Nzola.

How far will Mauritania go?

It would be an astonishing achievement if Mauritania were to get out of the group stages. They have never done so in their history, and with Algeria and Burkina Faso expected to finish in the top two spots, it's tough to see how Mauritania can get out of Group D.

Mauritania AFCON 2023 Preview
Credit: Bienvenue Dumbi/Sports Inc – Photo by Icon sport

Mauritania – Predicted AFCON 2023 XI

Goalkeeper

Namori Diaw os one of of the few players playing in his homeland, but with 25 caps for his country, he will feature once more at these finals.

Defence

Aly Abeid is the most-capped player in defence for Mauritania, and he is expected alongside his UTA Arad teammate, Abdoulkader Thiam. Hassan Houbeib and Lassana Diakhaby are expected in the full-back roles of what is a very inexperienced defensive setup for Mauritania.

Midfield

With nine goals in 54 caps, Moctar Sidi El Hacen is the top scorer from the last squad announcement for Mauritania, but he will also be joined by Bessam, who has four more goals than him. Almike N'Diaye should make up a midfield three for his country

Attack

With a weak midfield and an inexperienced defence, a lot of hope will be pinned on former Premier League man, Aboubakar Kamara, who has eight goals in 18 caps for Mauritania. Dawda Camara of the high-flying Girona over in La Liga will also likely come in here, alongside five-goal man, Mamadou Niass.


Avatar of Grant McQuillan
Grant McQuillan

Grant is a British sports writer based in America and was previously content head for Footy Accumulators. He has been covering football, boxing and MMA since leaving university in 2019 with a degree in Multimedia Sports Journalism.