Johannesburg - While eight countries have booked their places at next year’s World Cup in Russia, 24 more still have to negotiate their way into the tournament.
None of Africa’s five representatives has qualified, and most of the groups could be decided in the last few matches in November.
In Group A, Tunisia, who have won three of their four games, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are battling for the top spot. Tunisia will take a step closer to Russia if they beat Guinea in Conakry.
But the Democratic Republic of Congo will try to take the contest to the final round when they visit Libya, which was banned from hosting international matches in 2011 after the security chaos that followed the overthrowing of Muammar Gaddafi. Guinea and Libya are already eliminated.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles are also in pole position. They need to beat second-placed Zambia at home to make sure of qualification.
Chipolopolo have to cause an upset away in Nigeria, which would mean the group would be decided in the last fixture. Cameroon and Algeria are already out of contention.
In Group C, Mali, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Gabon could still qualify. However, leaders Ivory Coast could wrap it up when they visit Mali in Bamako. Group D is the tightest, with Burkina Faso and surprise package Cape Verde tied on six points. But Senegal have been given a lifeline after Fifa nullified their results against Bafana Bafana and ordered a replay.
The Lions of Taranga, who are on five points, will jump to eight if they win that game, which would rule Bafana out of contention.
Egypt are in the driving seat in Group E and could book their place if they beat already eliminated Congo Brazzaville in Cairo, provided Uganda fail to beat Ghana in their next fixture in Kampala.