(Reuters) - Two uncapped forwards from teams in the English Championship (first division) have been included in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s preliminary squad for next month’s African Nations Cup finals in South Africa.
Yannick Bolaise (Crystal Palace) and Gabriel Zakuani (Peterborough United) were named in coach Claude Le Roy’s 28-man squad announced by the Congolese Football Federation on Sunday.
There is also a return for 31-year-old former captain Lomana Lua Lua, who led the attack in the team’s last Nations Cup appearance in Egypt in 2006.
The selection also includes Parfait Mandanda, younger brother of fellow goalkeeper Steve, who was in the France squad at the Euro 2012 tournament.
Congo depart on a two-week preparatory camp to Oman on January 4 before opening their Cup campaign against Ghana in Port Elizabeth on January 20. They also play Mali and Niger in Group B of the 16-team tournament.
Goalkeepers: Robert Kidiaba (TP Mazembe Englebert), Bakala Landu (MK), Parfait Mandanda (Charleroi)
Defenders: Mpeko Issama, Thierry Kasereka (both AS V Club), Jean Kasusula (TP Mazembe Englebert), Larrys Mabiala (Karabukspor), Chancel Mbemba (Anderlecht), Cedric Mongongu (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Landry Mulemo (Kortrijk), Herve Ndonga (TP Mazembe Englebert), Toko Nzuzi (Grasshoppers)
Midfielders: Mukuntima Kisombe (Daring Club Motembe Pembe), Cedric Makiadi (SC Freiburg), Zola Matumona (Mons-Bergen), Tresor Mputu (TP Mazembe Englebert), Youssouf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion), Kazadi Mutombo (AS V Club), Luvumbu Nzinga (SC Rojolu)
Forwards: Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace), Patou Kabangu (TP Mazembe Englebert), Alain Kaluyituka (Al Kharitiyath), Deo Kanda (TP Mazembe Englebert), Domi Kumbela (Eintracht Braunschweig), Lomama Lua Lua (Karabukspor), Buge Mania (Shark XI FC), Dieumerci Mbokani (Anderlecht), Gabriel Zakuani (Peterborough United)
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Durban; Editing by John O'Brien