Both sides are drawn against hosts Cameroon and Burkina Faso in Group A. So, every game holds significance for either side, with just two teams making it into the knockout stage from each group.
Both teams had an unsuccessful campaign in their FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying second round and failed to qualify for the third round.
Ethiopia played a warm-up game ahead of the tournament against Sudan, beating them 3-2 at Limbe Stadium on December 30.
Ethiopia vs Cape Verde Head-to-Head
This will be the first competitive meeting between the two sides.
Ethiopia form guide (all competitions): W-D-D-L-L
Cape Verde form guide (all competitions): D-W-W-W-L
Ethiopia vs Cape Verde Team News
Walias were the first team to reach Cameroon and have been training regularly since the last week of December. Of the 28-man squad announced for the competition, all players have trained normally ahead of the campaign opener and are in contention to start here.
In their first AFCON appearance since 2013, they will be hoping to leave a good account of themselves under the tutelage of Wubetu Abate.
Tubarões Azuis had a solid outing in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, with three wins and just one loss, and missed out on the qualification spot to Nigeria in Group C. They will be looking to continue that form and have named a solid 28-man squad for the competition.
There were a few cases of COVID-19 reported in the training camp, but as is often the case, the identity of the players has not been revealed. There are no reported injuries for the first game of the competition for Cape Verde.
Ethiopia vs Cape Verde Predicted XI
Ethiopia Predicted XI (4-3-3): Teklemariam Shanko; Asrat Tunjo, Suleiman Hamid, Remedan Yesouf, Desta Yohannes; Mesoud Mohammed, Fitsum Alemu, Firew Solomon; Abubeker Nassir, Getaneh Kebede, Amanuel Gebremichael
Cape Verde Predicted XI (4-4-2): Marcio da Rosa; Stopira, Joao Paulo Fernandes, Jeffry Fortes, Steve Furtado; Jamiro Monteior, Marco Soares, Kenny Rocha, Nuno Borges; Djaniny Semedo, Julio Tavares
Ethiopia vs Cape Verde Prediction
Ethiopia and Cape Verde have never met in a competitive fixture before. Ethiopia have acclimatized themselves over the last couple of weeks to conditions that might work in their favor here.
Nonetheless, Cape Verde are unbeaten in their last four games and will not go down easily. A low-scoring draw is the most likely outcome from the game.
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Prediction: Ethiopia 1-1 Cape Verde