Ethiopia get their Africa Cup of Nations campaign started with a clash against Cape Verde at Stade Paul Biya on Sunday.
Both teams have been drawn in Group A of the competition, alongside host nation Cameroon and Burkina Faso.
Ethiopia finished as runners-up to the Ivory Coast in Group K of the qualifiers to secure safe passage into the group stages of the tournament.
Wubetu Abate’s men managed three wins and three draws from their six qualifying matches, beating Madagascar and Niger to the last automatic spot.
The Ibex have won only one of their six competitive matches since then which has seen them miss out on a place in the playoffs for the 2022 World Cup.
However, Ethiopia overcame Sudan 3-2 on Thursday in their final warm-up fixture and will be keen to kick on from there.
As they prepare for a first-ever meeting against this weekend’s opponents, the east Africans could certainly do with a victory in their quest to improve on 2013’s group-stage exit.
After missing out in 2017 and 2019, Cape Verde were determined to take part in this year’s event and booked their ticket by finishing second in their qualifying group.
The Blue Sharks also came close to progressing into the next round of the World Cup qualifiers before they were eventually denied by the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Heading into the final match day two points adrift of their west African counterparts, Cape Verde needed to win to book a spot in March’s playoffs but could only manage a 1-1 draw.
Pedro Brito’s men will now be looking to put that disappointment behind them and put on an impressive display in their third ever continental outing.
Ethiopia form (all competitions):
Cape Verde form (all competitions):
We say: Ethiopia 1-1 Cape Verde
Both teams will be fully up for this given the occasion which should make for an enthralling affair. We are predicting a share of the spoils with the sides settling for a point apiece in the end