Lesotho coach Thabo Senong has named a 30-man provisional squad to face Sierra Leone and Nigeria respectively in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for late March.

Likuena will host the Leone Stars at Setsoto Stadium on March 22 and will conclude their Group L campaign against the Super Eagles in Lagos on March 30. In the first leg encounters against the two West African sides, Senong’s side managed a 1-1 draw in Freetown against Sierra Leone and went down 4-2 to Nigeria at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru.

South African based duo of Tshwarelo Bereng and Luciano Matsoso make a return to the team after failing to make the final squad for the last year November’s double header against Benin. Lesia Thetsane and Thabiso Brown, who have been playing their football in the United States of America and Peru respectively, have also been called-up to the team after a long absence.

“Firstly, I would like to thank the leadership and management of the Lesotho Football Association for working hard that we have good preparations for the coming fixtures. I also wish to thank the technical team for putting their heads together to come up with the 30-man provisional squad,” Senong stated.

“Congratulations to the players that have made the squad. We wish them all the best and looking forward to working with them. We are mindful that the core of our team lacks the needed match fitness. However, it is essential as the Likuena coaching staff that we design the methodology that will help the players to play with a lot of confidence and a lot of concentration in the two upcoming games.”

Senong admitted that it was not an easy task coming-up with the provisional squad as majority of the players play in the Lesotho’s Vodacom Premier League that has been in suspension since January following the increase of the Corona Virus cases and deaths in the Mountain Kingdom country.

“Looking at the selection criteria, obviously, we had to look at few aspects such as the game plan, our style of play, the opposition strength and weaknesses, the tactical flexibility of players in our disposal, players that can play in several positions, players that can bring the right chemistry into the set-up and players that can bring the right professionalism so that we represent Lesotho and Basotho with pride,” added the Lesotho coach.

“It is going to be a long camp, we need a very happy dressing room, we need a very happy camp that has a lot of good atmosphere,” he said.