BBC Sport in Asmara
As the group six leaders Mali and Zimbabwe meet in Bamako, two of Africa's footballing minnows come face-to-face in Asmara.
Eritrea have been training hard
Ranked 163rd and 187th in the world respectively, Eritrea and the Seychelles were expected to make up the numbers in the group, leaving the two big guns fighting it out for qualification.
But in sensationally beating Zimbabwe 2-1 earlier this month, the Seychelles tore up the script and now find themselves with a faint chance of qualification.
Victory against Eritrea on Saturday would leave German coach Michael Nees' team on nine points and in with a hope of topping the group.
Having won their two qualifying matches at home the final match in the Seychelles is not one Mali will relish.
For Eritrea the campaign has been a struggle.
With no points and no goals from their first four encounters and a difficult match to come in Harare, Saturday could be their best chance to get some points.
Head coach Tekie Abraha says a lack of funding and preparation have hindered the team's campaign.
"We haven't had the money to organise friendlies in the last two years, meaning that the only games we've actually played here in Asmara have been the two qualifying ones so it's been difficult for us to introduce young players."
Eritrea can also with some justification point to bad luck, with the team three times losing 1-0.
"When we last played the Seychelles we dominated the match and just couldn't score the goals, they had one good shot and it went in," twenty eight year old winger Abel Afeworki said.