Libya v Zambia
Heroic qualifiers Libya could face an early exit if they lose on Wednesday and the Equatorial Guinea vs Senegal result goes against them
Africa Cup of Nations 2012
Venue: Estadio de Bata Group: Group A Date: Wednesday, 25 January Kick-off: 1600 GMT Coverage: Watch live on Eurosport; live text commentary and full report plus reaction on the BBC Sport website and mobiles
Libya welcome back Mohamed El Mughrabi after the defensive stalwart missed the Equatorial Guinea defeat through suspension.
The Morocco-based player’s return enables coach Marcos Paqueta to choose from a full squad for a match his side cannot afford to lose.
Three Libyans – Abubakar Suiueuinei, Abdalah Al Sherif and Ahmed Osman – are a booking away from suspension while only Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was cautioned against Senegal.
French coach Herve Renard has a full squad to choose from as the Zambians look for a second successive victory to nudge them towards the quarter-finals.
These two teams know each other well after meeting twice during the qualifiers for these finals.
Libya won the first meeting 1-0 at home, before holding their Zambian hosts to a goalless draw in the return leg – a result which qualified both teams for the tournament.
Chipolopolo coach Renard is keen to point out that the failure to beat the Libyans came under previous coach Dario Bonetti, whom the Frenchman replaced after qualification was assured.
He has also brought in a handful of different players and with Saturday’s stunning opening win over Senegal in the bank, Zambia will be a different proposition.
“We are confident of going very far with the coach demanding nothing less than a semi-finals place,” said midfielder Isaac Chansa.
Libya, meanwhile, are looking for their first victory at a Nations Cup since beating none other than Zambia on home soil 30 years ago.
The Mediterranean Knights struggled to make any impact on the Equatorial Guinea defence on Saturday, with Ahmed Zuway toiling alone up front for little reward.
They will need improved performances across the park if they are to avoid the prospect of an early exit after the feat of qualifying for the finals against a backdrop of civil war.