Sports News of Wednesday, 19 June 2019
Namibia were being flattered, perhaps, by a 2nd-placed complete in Group K, and only in fact managed two wins—against Mozambique property and away.
Their matchday six 4-1 demolition by now removed Zambia was perhaps a clearer indication of their level, and getting pooled into the Group of Death does not aid both.
Madagascar are entitled to huge credit score for qualifying for their to start with match, and a draw at home from Senegal before in the campaign proves that they can maintain their have from the significant boys.
On the other hand, their unity is by now getting examined by new recruits, and there’s a unique absence of leading-close practical experience in their squad.
Mauritania: Very first-time qualifiers after negotiating a pretty favourable team.
There’s absolutely some superb get the job done getting done in North West Africa less than Corentin Martins, but it would be a enormous overachievement if they escape from their team in Egypt.
Angola have regularly punched beneath their bodyweight in continental opposition, but Primeiro de Agosto’s strong exhibiting in last year’s Caf level of competition served discover as to their talent.
Mateus Galiano and Gelson could surely hassle the greater boys, while they’ve landed in a first rate initial-spherical team.
Guinea-Bissau will be emboldened by their 2nd consecutive qualification—having made their debut in 2017—and their to start with-positioned end in Team K.
Really do not expect them, having said that, to superior their group-stage exit of two a long time ago, even while both of those Ghana and Cameroon could be vulnerable.
Tanzania’s squad have adapted well to Emmanuel Amuneke’s appealing and formidable approach, and were being rewarded with a very first Afcon qualification considering that 1980.
Simon Msuva and Mbwana Samatta are proficient, energetic forwards who can problems Africa’s greater defences, and they in the end competent in style—with a 3- rout of Uganda.
Burundi’s qualification was hailed as a miracle results tale in some corners, but they have high quality and could spring an additional shock or two in Egypt.
In Fiston Abdul Razak, Cedric Amissi and Cedric Bakambu they boast a most likely deadly attacking trio, and their gritty showings to sneak to the event in advance of Gabon really should stand them in good stead for the worries to come.
If they can get the far better of fellow initially-timers Madagascar, then they could well sneak out of Team B.
Benin snuck into Egypt in advance of Togo after defeating Emmanuel Adebayor and co. in Cotonou in their remaining group sport.
They’ll have to have Steve Mounie to set his Leading League flunk at the rear of him, whilst Stephane Sessegnon and Mickael Pote are seasoned veterans.
Zimbabwe will arrive back more robust soon after an encouraging showing—albeit in to start with-round elimination—in Gabon two decades ago.
The team’s threatening attacking elements—notably Understanding Musona and Khama Billiat—remain, and Great Nakamba is an exceptional midfield talent.
Right after qualifying in advance of Congo-Brazzaville, they may now have the resiliency to match their attacking flair, whilst they will be severely analyzed by a tricky Group A draw.
Kenya won several admirers by defeating Ghana throughout qualification and had currently wrapped up qualification before the remaining matchday.
They have been unquestionably helped by Sierra Leone’s suspension, but Michael Olunga will make sure they have a danger in Egypt.
Back again them to down Tanzania in the East African derby involving the two, but Algeria and Senegal will fancy their odds of getting all three details from the Haramabee Stars.
Guinea should not be underestimated immediately after profitable their very first 3 qualifiers, impressed by the midfield dynamo that is Naby Keita.
Even so, his struggles to demonstrate his ideal kind at Liverpool appear as a issue, though Guinea have been held in their past a few qualifiers, such as Sunday’s draw in the Central African Republic.
Uganda adopted up their qualification in 2017—a initially in 39 years—by securing yet another berth at the Afcon, next a marketing campaign which was impeccable for five matchdays.
Sebastien Desabre is evidently performing something ideal, and they have a chopping edge in Emmanuel Okwi and Farouk Miya.
Obtaining won quite a few admirers for the duration of their earnest, genuine 1st-round exit in 2017, it is not unreasonable that they go a person greater this time.
#12 Democratic Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo have impressed at the previous two Nations Cups under Florent Ibenge, memorably ending third in 2015. However, there have been symptoms of stagnation in current a long time, and they ended up unconvincing during qualifying.
Nonetheless, on their day, Cedric Bakambu and Yannick Bolasie can terrorise Africa’s defences, although they have to have a excellent get started towards Uganda in their opener.
#11 South Africa
South Africa: Defensive resiliency can be the most useful commodity in event environments, and Bafana’s excellent defensive record—they conceded twice in 6 in qualifying—makes them opportunity dim horses.
In Percy Tau, they also have just one of the continent’s a lot more deadly attacking skills, but can Stuart Baxter iron out the offensive failings that expense them in goalless draws in opposition to Libya and the Seychelles?
Mali could be ones to observe in Egypt following a relatively flawless qualifying marketing campaign in which they went undefeated and conceded just twice.
Moussa Marega is a Golden Boot contender, even though this underrated squad also boast a good deal of Ligue 1 practical experience.
Ghana boast proficient individuals—if they transform up—and significant-video game working experience, but has coach Kwesi Appiah solid a powerful workforce from this team?
His 2nd tenure continue to hasn’t matched the heights of that early thrashing of Ethiopia, and as well quite a few important things are out of kinds at club stage.
A present of discontent and turbulence also operates via the squad, and issues might get unpleasant in Egypt.
Nigeria are again in the significant time for the 1st time following profitable the title in 2013, with Gernot Rohr subsequent up World Cup qualification with a location in Egypt.
They are a good mix of practical experience and youthful verve, and back again-to-back again wins versus Libya was a robust assertion.
It stays to be observed regardless of whether the mentor can solve some of the team’s present weaknesses, although a very last-minute goalkeeping reshuffle may possibly carry even more complications
Cameroon are wounded animals immediately after being stripped of internet hosting legal rights for the 2019 match, and they’ve fallen from grace next their unforgettable Afcon triumph under Hugo Broos in 2017.
However, Clarence Seedorf has a variety of gifted gamers to perform with—Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, Christian Bassogog and Clinton N’Jie all scored versus Comoros to qualify—and there’s a vein of title-successful expertise running by their squad.
#6 Cote d’Ivoire
Ivory Coastline flopped at the previous Afcon, and throughout the Environment Cup qualifying campaign. They weren’t way too considerably superior this time about, and were being defeated by Guinea at house prior to staying held away in the Central African Republic.
It is not specifically encouraging, but a forward line which include any of Nicolas Pepe, Max Gradel, Jonathan Kodjia, Wilfried Zaha and recalled Wilfried Bony has the potential to ignite in Egypt.
Jean Seri, pulling the strings in midfield, could underpin a return to form.
Algeria continue on to be an immensely tantalising prospect, and they have impressed in the course of the pre-tournament friendlies right after a pair of attracts towards The Gambia and October’s defeat in Benin tempered anticipations.
Baghdad Bounedjah is between Africa’s most underrated strikers, and he’ll have no shortage of impressive provide traces this summer season, even though the late arrival in camp of Andy Delort could also be decisive.
Morocco: The Atlas Lions were Africa’s outstanding group at the Globe Cup—even if they fell at the first hurdle—and cruised by way of qualification.
Herve Renard has enormous toughness in depth, one of the continent’s best players in Hakim Ziyech, and crucially, the coach knows how to navigate Afcon tournaments like no one particular else on the planet.
On the other hand, their pre-tournament kind has been dire, raising issues that they could be a used pressure.
Tunisia have absent beneath the radar even with boasting a total squad with depth throughout the park.
The recruitment of the latest decades stands them in excellent stead, as will ‘North African advantage’.
Crucially, this workforce ally grit at the again with a several important difference-makers more ahead. Three consecutive victories forward of the event, which includes a acquire around Environment Cup finalists Croatia, bodes properly.
Senegal breezed by qualification, taking 16 points and remaining unbeaten.
They’ll have acquired a good deal from their exploits in Russia past 12 months, though there isn’t an African player in the entire world who’s in superior form than Sadio Mane at the minute.
He’ll be backed-up by an exceptional supporting forged as the Teranga Lions search to acquire their 1st title, and the West Africans may well very well boast the most effective defence in the opposition.
Egypt boast household benefit and the presence of Mohamed Salah, the finest African participant in the planet today.
His good quality overshadows the rest of a talented squad, but can Javier Aguirre capitalise on a swell of domestic assist to ensure that they boast a System B past the Liverpool celebrity?