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Eric Bailly – Ivorian defender threatened by rival’s form – 2018 FIFA World Cup – Russia


Eric Bailly (L) of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League match

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 19:00


Eric Bailly may have a tough time getting back into Manchester United’s starting XI following the impressive form shown by rival and teammate Victor Lindelof.

Though the Swedish defender has taken his time to settle at Old Trafford following a big-money move from Benfica in the European summer, he has impressed in United’s last two matches and may have jumped ahead in the pecking order for central defenders.

The Swede was composed in the 1-0 and 4-2 wins over Brighton and Watford respectively and may have done enough to claim a starting place for the big game away to Arsenal tomorrow evening.

Bailly also faces competition from the return of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones from injury, though Jose Mourinho’s use of a back three in the win at Vicarage Road in midweek means an abundance of centre-backs is needed.

The Ivorian remains one of the Red Devils’ best ‘natural’ defenders and will surely see plenty of action, especially over the busy upcoming festive season, when games come thick and fast and squad rotation becomes more prevalent.

If Bailly doesn’t make the cut for the match at Emirates Stadium tomorrow, he is at least likely to see action in next week’s UEFA Champions League match at home to CSKA Moscow, where United will be looking to confirm their place in the last 16.



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African teams learn 2018 World Cup group rivals – 2018 FIFA World Cup


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 18:37


The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals was conducted at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Friday.

Thirty-two teams including five African nations were drawn into eight groups of four.

Egypt, who qualified for the finals for the first time since 1990, were pitted against Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and the host nation, Russia.

Their North African rivals Morocco were drawn into Group B along with Portugal, Spain and Iran. Morocco will make their sixth appearance in the finals next year.

Three-time African champions Nigeria, who will also make their sixth appearance in the finals next year, were drawn into Group D along with Argentina, Iceland and Croatia.

North African giants Tunisia were pitted against Panama, England and Belgium in Group G. Tunisia qualified for the finals for the first time since 2006.

Lastly, West African side Senegal are in Group H along with Poland, Colombia and Japan. Senegal will make their second appearance in the finals in Russia.

Group A – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

Group B – Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

Group C – France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

Group D – Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

Group E – Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

Group F – Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

Group G – Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

Group H – Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan



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2018 FIFA World Cup Draw – As it happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 18:34


That’s all from Russia where we witnessed the draw for the #FIFAWorldCup2018.

Complete #FIFAWorldCup2018 draw

Nigeria are the last African team to be drawn. They are in Group D along side Iceland, Croatia and Argentina, who recently lost to Nigeria in a friendly match.

Group D is also complete and African side Morocco have joined Spain, Iran and Portugal.

We are done with Group A  which features Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay, who won the first ever World Cup tournament as hosts.

Senegal, who qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 16 years, are drawn into Group H. They join Poland and Colombia.

African side Tunisia are drawn into Group G. They will play their first game against England.

Pot 3 side Egypt are the first African nation to be drawn. They join Uruguay and Russia in Group A.

England and Colombia drawn into Group G and Group H respectively.

Pot 2 teams Peru and Croatia join France, and Argentina in Group C and Group D respectively. While Switzerland and Mexico join Brazil, and Germany in Group D and E respectively.

We are done with Pot 1. Pot 2’s Uruguay join Russia in Group A, while Spain join Portugal in Group B.

Germany and Belgium are drawn into Group F, and Group G respectively. The last Pot 1 team Poland are drawn into Group H.

Pot 1 teams Portugal and France are drawn into Group B, and Group C respectively. While Argentina and Brazil are drawn into Group D and Group E respectively.

The draw has finally started. Russia, who are the host nation, automatically go into Group A.

England legend Gary Lineker explaining how the #FIFAWorldCup2018 will be conducted.

The trophy has arrived! Legendary German striker Miroslav Klose brought it on stage. He is the top goalscorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup having scored 16 goals in the global tournament.

We are just a few minutes away from the . Five African teams have qualified for next year’s tournament.

The Nigeria Football Federation official delegation are present at the  draw in Moscow.

Russia state president Vladimir Putin is opening the # draw here in Moscow.

The teams are placed in pots one to four from highest to lowest FIFA ranking with the exception of Russia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, who are automatically placed in pot one alongside the top seeds.

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw which takes place today at 17:00 CAT (18:00 local time) from the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia.

 



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Favourites Kenya out to dispatch Rwanda in CECAFA tournament


Kenya international Francis Kahata

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 18:30


Kenya will bank on their home ground advantage as they host Rwanda in their Group A match of the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge encounter on Sunday.

The Harambee Stars are seen as favourites to retain the trophy and erase their disappointment after losing the rights to host the 2018 CAF African Nations Championship.

CAF took the hosting rights from the East African nation and handed them to Morocco after their failure to show readiness and provide the necessary infrastructure on time.

However, hosting Rwanda means coach Paul Put will hope to bring smiles back to their fans’ faces come Sunday as their mission is to reach the semi-finals.

Kenya have won the regional tournament six times and finished in the final on seven occasions – the mission for Put is start his tenure with a trophy.

Looking at Rwanda’s Amavubi, their mission is to stun their hosts and claim the full three points to boost their semi-final aspirations.

Rwanda have bagged the CECAFA trophy once and will want to register their second gold medal as they will meet Kenya.

On the other hand, the Antoine Hey-coached side will want to go all the way to the final and erase their disappointments after finishing as number two on six occasions.

The match will be staged at Moi Stadium in Kisumu and get underway at 15:00 (CAT).



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Zambia’s Kenneth Kalunga settling will in Portugal despite rough journey


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 18:00


Zambian U20 star Kenneth Kalunga says he is settling down well in Portugal, but says it has not been an easy journey.

Kalunga features for Portugal’s Lower league side Sporting Clube de Esmoriz and has been influential for them since joining about two months ago.

The 2017 U20 African champion has found the net twice and produced five assists since joining Esmoriz, but says it has not been as easy as it seems.

“My stay in Portugal so far has been great. Better than I had expected before I came over,” Kalunga said to Zambian Football website.

”My teammates all received me very well. They all made me feel welcome and I had the freedom to do anything. That helped me to settle in well and blend with the team much easier.

”It hasn’t been hard neither has it been easy. I’ve had a great start to the season but that’s not to say it’s easy.

“The team works hard to get good results and I give my best to help the team achieve. Definitely, joining Esmoriz has improved my game.

“I have played in all games and I gain more experience with each game. My coaches too have Made me a better player in many aspects, but the best of me is yet to be seen.”

Esmoriz are second on the log with 22 points from 11 games, with six points separating them and log leaders Lourosa, whom they face on Sunday.



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Libya and Tanzania set to start CECAFA tournament with a bang


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 17:30



Libya will want to cause an upset as guests in the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge when they meet Tanzania on Sunday.

The Mediterranean Knights are set to open their account in the East African regional tournament and will hope to make a good impression.

However, meeting the Taifa Stars will bring challenges as both sides will want to start their Group A campaign on a high.

The winner between the two nations will move to the top of the group provided Rwanda and Kenya fail to register their first wins in the other group encounter on the same day.

Meanwhile, the Taifa Stars and Mediterranean Knights will be motivated by the fact that finishing on top and being runners-up will secure a spot in the semi-finals.

The opening clash of the tournament will be staged at Moi Stadium in Kisumu on December 3 at 13:00 (CAT).



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Jurgen Klopp: I said thank you to Mohamed Salah


Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with teammate Sadio Mane

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 17:15


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has shed the light on why Egyptian international Mohamed Salah was crucial in their 3-0 win on Wednesday against Stoke City.

Salah netted a brace as they downed Stoke in the English Premier League, but eyebrows were raised when the 25-year-old was benched for the start of the match.

However, Klopp’s decision turned out to be a clever move as he brought him on for the last 20 minutes to see his summer signing bag a brace.

“Thank you is all I said to Mohamed Salah, it is nice to come on in a situation like this,” Klopp said after the match.

“We have a lot of work to do, with Peter Crouch on the pitch it make it difficult and they are good on the ground but we have to keep fighting for the second ball.

“It was very deserved and we are very happy.”

On the other hand, Klopp added that he was impressed by the impact of the substitutes who were coming on in three degree weather.

“It is obviously good for us,” he told the official website. “It is difficult for all of the players coming on with this temperature.

“Last week we had a little bit of a problem [with the players that came on against Chelsea] and the next day more problems than the players that started, obviously sitting on the bench is not too nice, but today it worked really well. Two fantastic goals, to be honest.”



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Kenyan Premier League Awards put on hold due to CECAFA


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 16:30


The Kenyan Premier League Awards have been moved to January 2018 as the Harambee Stars are busy with the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge.

Kenya will host the regional showpiece which means an announcement was made that the local awards event will be hosted next year.

ETO’O SPEAKS OUT ON RESCUING CAMEROONIAN SLAVES OUT OF LIBYA

Media reports in the country suggest that the red carpet ceremony was planned for December 13.

The regional tournament was initially scheduled to end before the gathering of top league performers.

However, due to unavoidable circumstances, according to the organizers, the tournament will now start December 3 to 17.

“The new date for the awards will be communicated in due course,” a statement from KPL said.

The league’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Oguda, had earlier confirmed to Soka25east that betting giants SportPesa will sponsor this year’s event.

For over a decade, pay television company SuperSport footed the bill until their broadcast deal with the KPL was terminated this year.



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Vipers SC coach Jorge da Costa lambastes wasteful players in Uganda


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 11:30


Vipers Sports Club coach Jorge Miguel Da Costa has lambasted his side, saying they were incompetent against Uganda Revenue Authority last week.

Despite taking the lead inside four minutes Vipers lost 2-1 to URA.

Milton Karisa put the Venoms in the lead, before goals from Henry Kisekka and Shafik Kagimu turned the game in URA’s favour.

BAGHDAD BOUNEDJAH: THANK GOD MY INJURY IS NOT SERIOUS

Although Vipers were the favourites at the start of the season to lift the Ugandan Premier League crown, the Portuguese manager begs to differ.

“My team was not competent,” said Da Costa to Kawowo Sports.

“Our players can’t put the ball in the net, something that can even be done by a 12-year-old boy.

“If we continue to play the way we do, I doubt we can win the league this season.”

Vipers are now eight points off the log and lie fifth with 20 points from 12 games whilst SC Villa top the table with 28 points from 13 matches.



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Bernard Parker not happy despite reaching milestone – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – Kaizer Chiefs


Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates goal during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa on 17 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 11:00


Kaizer Chiefs forward Bernard Parker isn’t entirely satisfied despite having reached a milestone of 50 goals for Kaizer Chiefs.

The former FC Twente forward hit the half-century mark in a 1-1 draw against Free State Stars last weekend, but instead of celebrating the achievement, the 31-year-old explained that he is frustrated it took him so long to reach the mark.

“I have achieved something great. It’s a good achievement, although I am not entirely happy because with my standards and quality I would have wanted to have reached this milestone earlier,” Parker told his club’s website.

“I am now in my seventh season at Chiefs. To score 50 goals is great, but it’s not enough, especially when looking at what is the going rate of scoring in Europe, as that’s the top level and that’s where the standard is set.”

The Amakhosi have scored but 11 goals in 12 matches in what has been a largely disappointing and uneventful Absa Premiership campaign.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Khalid Boutaib – Moroccan forward to lead club side out of trouble – 2018 FIFA World Cup – Russia


Khalid Boutaib of Morocco

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 10:00


Moroccan forward Khalid Boutaib will be aiming to lead his club side up the Süper Lig standings when they return to action this coming weekend.

Yeni Malatyaspor, who currently sit in 13th spot on the log standings, are away to Akhisarspor on Saturday afternoon.

Boutaib played 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw against Besiktas in the club’s latest league fixture, but remained on the bench in a midweek cup defeat to Osmanlispor.

MOROCCO’S BEST AND WORST CASE DRAW SCENARIOS

Boutaib has bagged six goals in 12 games this season for Yeni Malatyaspor, with 30-year-old the third highest scoring African in the league. Former English Premier League stars Emmanuel Adebayor and Arouna Kone have scored eight and seven goals apiece

The league’s leading scorer is Frenchman Bafetimbi Gomis who has scored 13 goals for Galatasaray this season.

The Atlas Lions will today discover their group opponents for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, having booked their return to the world showpiece for the first time in 20 years.



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Tignyemb sets sights on TKO glory


Patrick Tignyemb of Bloemfontein Celtic celebrates teammates goal during the 2017 Telkom Knockout semifinal football match between Polokwane City and Bloemfontein Celtic at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 19 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 09:30


Bloemfontein Celtic captain Patrick Tignyemb is hopeful that Siwelele can repeat the success they achieved five years ago when they take on Bidvest WIts in the final of the 2017 Telkom Knockout Cup on Saturday evening.

Tignyemb, 32, was part of the victorious Phunya Sele Sele side that beat Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2012 showpiece.

Celtic and the Clever Boys will lock horns at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu. Kick-off is at 18h00 CAT.

“What is helping us this season is that we are fighting for each other, praying together and the friendship we have built amongst ourselves is that of brotherhood,” Tignyemb told the club’s website.

“Personally for me, it will be an achievement to win the trophy for the second time and we ask God for mercy and strength to help the team achieve.”

The shot-stopper has played an integral part in Celtic reaching this year’s showpiece, with the Free States side coming up trumps in two penalty shoot-outs on their journey to the final.



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Dele Alli’s struggles down to Victor Wanyama’s absence


by
Bertin Basson

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 09:00


Former Fulham, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Danny Murphy has put Spurs recent woes down the absence of Victor Wanyama.

The North London club have failed to register a win in their last three English Premier League encounters, with defeat away to Arsenal and Leicester City serving as a massive blow to their title ambitions.

Kenya international midfielder, Wanyama, hasn’t featured for the club since a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea back in August with a knee injury keeping him out of action for longer than initially expected.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: RIYAD MAHREZ – WILL HE BE PERFECT FOR TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR?

The 26-year-old is an integral member of the Spurs squad and Murphy believes that Dele Alli’s failure to keep up his rip-roaring form is down to the missing midfield link of Wanyama and Mousa Dembele.

“I would look at a couple of aspects; one is the stadium change,” Murphy told BBC Radio Five Live.

“There is no denying that has had an effect, and we all know that. I think the other thing is that the foundation of that side – Dembele and Wanyama sitting in from of the back three or back four, depending on how the played – they’ve hardly had them two together, and we wonder why Dele Alli isn’t quite playing the same.

“Anyone playing ahead of Dembele and Wanyama is going to be able to get more of the ball and use his energy to that way – it isn’t the same when those two don’t play, and I think that’s been a big problem,” he concluded.



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Wits, Celtic battle for Telkom Knockout crown


Gabadinho Mhango of Bidvest Wits evades tackle from Mpho Matsi of Cape Town City during the 2017 MTN8 semifinal football match between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 10 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 08:30


Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic will battle for the right to be crowned 2017 Telkom Knockout champions when they meet in the final at Princess Magogo Stadium on 2 December 2017, kick-off at 18h00.

Wits have progressed into their first League Cup final since 2011 after overcoming Free State Stars, Baroka FC and Kaizer Chiefs in the first three rounds of the competition. The Johannesburg side is looking to win a third League Cup title to add to trophies won in 1985 and 1995.

Celtic, who won their only Telkom Knockout title in 2012, have advanced into the final thanks to victories over SuperSport United, Platinum Stars and Polokwane City – the first and third matches were decided by post-match penalties.

This TKO final will be the 11th cup meeting of Wits and Celtic since 1985. The first 10 have been dominated by the Clever Boys, who claimed eight outright wins (plus one via penalties) and suffered just one defeat. The teams’ last knockout clash was in the first round of the 2016 Nedbank Cup, with the Johannesburg side winning 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from striker James Keene.

Overall, the teams have met in 66 matches across all competitions. Wits have claimed 31 victories compared to 19 for Celtic, while 16 matches have been drawn. Their latest meeting was a league clash in early October which saw Phunya Sele Sele triumph 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from Roggert Nyundu.

The teams come into the final having been in league action this past weekend, with Wits having played out a goalless draw away to Maritzburg United, while Celtic suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Orlando Pirates.

The teams have played the same number of league matches and have seven points and eight places separating them: Phunya Sele Sele are eighth on 16 points, while the Clever Boys are last (16th) with nine points.



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Riyad Mahrez – Will he be perfect for Tottenham Hotspur?


Leicester City‘s Riyad Mahrez

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 19:00


Ex-England international midfielder Danny Murphy believes Algerian international winger Riyad Mahrez must join Tottenham Hotspur.

Murphy has told Match of the Day, which was broadcast on November 30, that the Lily Whites need to sign a player like Mahrez.

The Leicester City attacker featured on the wing for the Foxes during their 2-1 triumph over Mauricio Pochettino’s men on Tuesday.

ETO’O SPEAKS OUT ON RESCUING CAMEROONIAN SLAVES OUT OF LIBYA

Mahrez cut inside and took aim, before curling the ball beyond goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to score his side’s second goal of the match.

“He’d suit Tottenham. They need someone like him,” Murphy said.

“They need someone who can add a bit of dynamism to their team.”

Pochettino’s side have now failed to beat West Bromwich Albion and Leicester in their last two fixtures, and have slipped down to seventh place in the English Premier League table.

On the other hand, Mahrez will want to help the Foxes claim the three points when they meet Burnley at home on Saturday.



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Senegal best and worst case draw scenarios – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Sadio Mane of Senegal celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers football match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 10 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 18:30


Ahead of tomorrow’s draw for the 2018 World Cup, AfricanFootball looks at both the best and worst case group stage scenarios for Senegal’s Teranga Lions.

Which pot are Senegal in?

The West Africans are in Pot 3 due to their world ranking position (32) in October, which determined which section of the draw teams were assigned to.

Which teams can they be drawn against?

– One of the teams in Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France

– One of the teams in Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia

– One of the following teams in Pot 4: Serbia, Australia, Japan, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia

Which teams can they not be drawn against?

All of the other teams in Pot 3 – Tunisia, Egypt, Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden and Iran – as well as the two Africans teams in Pot 4: Nigeria and Morocco.

What’s their best-case scenario?

From Pot 1, Senegal will want to draw Russia. The 2018 hosts are easily the weakest team in that pool. Short of getting the home side, Belgium and Poland are probably a touch overrated and have traditionally struggled at big tournaments.

From Pot 2 they’ll want to draw Peru, who haven’t been to the World Cup since 1982, or one of England, Switzerland or Croatia – they’re all fine teams, but not as powerful and dangerous as the likes of Spain, Uruguay and Mexico.

From Pot 4 the Teranga Lions will want Panama, who are making their tournament debut, or the lowest ranked team, Saudi Arabia. Though none of the others – Serbia, Australia, Japan and South Korea – are particularly intimidating either.

Summary: Senegal’s dream group stage draw would see them pooled with Russia, Peru and Panama/Saudi Arabia.

And their worst?

As a combination, this is about as bad as it could get for Senegal: South American heavyweights Brazil from Pot 1, 2010 champions Spain from Pot 2 and Serbia from Pot 4. You could swap out Brazil for Argentina and it would be just as tough, or go with Germany from Pot 1 and Colombia or Uruguay from Pot 2. There are plenty of combinations to get African fans nervous.

Summary: A group with Brazil, Spain and Serbia would represent the worst case for the Teranga Lions.



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Egypt best and worst case draw scenarios – 2018 FIFA World Cup


Essam El Hadary of Egypt celebrates after saving Bertrand Traore of Burkina Faso penalty in shootout, embraced by teammates during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon semifinal football match between Burkina Faso and Egypt at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 01 February 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 18:00


Ahead of tomorrow’s draw for the 2018 World Cup, AfricanFootball looks at both the best and worst case group stage scenarios for Egypt’s Pharaohs.

Which pot are Egypt in?

The North Africans are in Pot 3 due to their world ranking position (32) in October, which determined which section of the draw teams were assigned to.

Which teams can they be drawn against?

– One of the teams in Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France

– One of the teams in Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia

– One of the following teams in Pot 4: Serbia, Australia, Japan, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia

Which teams can they not be drawn against?

All of the other teams in Pot 3 – Tunisia, Senegal, Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden and Iran – as well as the two Africans teams in Pot 4: Nigeria and Morocco.

What’s their best-case scenario?

From Pot 1, Egypt will want to draw Russia. The 2018 hosts are easily the weakest team in that pool. Short of getting the home side, Belgium and Poland are probably a touch overrated and have traditionally struggled at big tournaments.

From Pot 2 they’ll want to draw Peru, who haven’t been to the World Cup since 1982, or one of England, Switzerland or Croatia – they’re all fine teams, but not as powerful and dangerous as the likes of Spain, Uruguay and Mexico.

From Pot 4 the Pharaohs will want Panama, who are making their tournament debut, or the lowest ranked team, Saudi Arabia. Though none of the others – Serbia, Australia, Japan and South Korea – are particularly intimidating either.

Summary: Egypt’s dream group stage draw would see them pooled with Russia, Peru and Panama/Saudi Arabia.

And their worst?

As a combination, this is about as bad as it could get for Egypt: South American heavyweights Brazil from Pot 1, 2010 champions Spain from Pot 2 and Serbia from Pot 4. You could swap out Brazil for Argentina and it would be just as tough, or go with Germany from Pot 1 and Colombia or Uruguay from Pot 2. There are plenty of combinations to get African fans nervous.

Summary: A group with Brazil, Spain and Serbia would represent the worst case for the Pharaohs.



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Cameroon coach Rigobert Song names CHAN squad


Rigobert Song and the Indomitable Lions

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 17:30


ameroon coach Rigobert Song has confirmed his final squad of 25 players for the 2018 CAF African Nations Championships.

The ex-Indomitable Lions skipper has named three goalkeepers, eight defenders, six midfielders and seven strikers in his team.

Cotton Sport’s Simon Omossala, Douala Union’s Derrick Anye Fru and Oscar Gwot are the three goalkeepers in the 25-man side.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: IDRISSA GUEYE – WE WILL MAKE SENEGALESE PEOPLE PROUD AT 2018 WORLD CUP

On the other hand, the ex-defender has dropped players such as Aurelien Etame, Ambassa Eloundou and Joel Kofana.

Song said they have to be in a good condition for the tournament to ensure his charges are ready for action in Morocco.

“In December we will be going to either Egypt or Turkey which will enable us to better train and to acclimatise especially because the youths are not used to staying in a climate that is totally different from theirs especially as we are going to arrive there in winter,” said Song.

“So we have to be in a condition whereby we will be ready when the time comes.”

The reigning African champions are in Group D together with Angola, Congo and Burkina Faso.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Derrick Anye Fru (Douala Union), Oscar Gwot Kalati (Eding Sport), Simon Omossola (Cotton Sport)

Defenders: Alphonse Marie Tientcheu (Eding Sport), Fabril Kaou (Douala Union), Salomon Banga (Dove of Djà and Lobo), Paul Abouem Maya (UMS), Paul Otia (UMS), Thomas Bawak Etta (UMS), Serge Andoulo (New Stars), Bertrand Owundi (Astres)

Midfielders: Franklin Anteh (Unisport), Bonny Elame (Dragon), David Pierre Eto’o (Union), Clarence Bitang (Union), Willy Namedji (UMS), Junior Awono (Yong Sport)

Strikers: Souleymanou Moussa (Cotton Sport), Ngoundo Kouoh Bille (New Stars), Lionel Abate Etoundi (AS Fortuna), Frantz Pangop (Union), Patrick Moukoko (Colombe), Raphael Eric Messi Bouli (Apejes ), Francis Elimbi (Eagle), Aristide Touffic (Eding Sport)



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Richmond Boakye again talks up Chelsea hopes


by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 17:00


Red Star Belgrade’s Ghanaian striker Richmond Boakye has once again declared his desire to join Premier League giants Chelsea.

The 24-year-old striker played under Blues boss Antonio Conte at Juventus and hopes to rekindle his relationship with the Italian.

Conte watched Boakye in Red Star’s recent visit to Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League, sparking rumours that a move to Stamford Bridge is on the cards.

“If Antonio Conte wants to sign me then I would be delighted to play for him once again,” Boakye told TMW.

“He wanted to sign me, and he brought me to Juventus. To my mind he is a great manager, and I will always be grateful to him.

“I remember going out on loan to Elche in Spain, as there was no space for me in the Juventus first team.

“He rang me to give me a morale boost and remind me of my qualities. For a lad of 19 that was a real pleasure.

“There are lots of rumours about my future at the moment. But nothing is definite until I sign a contract.”



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Nigeria’s best and worst case draw scenarios


Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel

by
Scent ition

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 16:30


Ahead of tomorrow’s draw for the 2018 World Cup, AfricanFootball looks at both the best and worst case group stage scenarios for Nigeria’s Super Eagles.

Which pot are Nigeria in?

The Super Eagles are in Pot 4 because their world ranking in October (41) put them amongst the eight lowest-rated teams to qualify for Russia 2018.

Which teams can they be drawn against?

– One of the teams in Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France

– One of the teams in Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia

– One of the following teams in Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Iran

Which teams can they not be drawn against?

All of the other teams in Pot 4 – Morocco, Serbia, Australia, Japan, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia – as well as the three Africans teams in Pot 3: Tunisia, Egypt and Senegal.

What’s their best-case scenario?

From Pot 1, Nigeria will want to draw Russia. The 2018 hosts are easily the weakest team in that pool. Short of getting the home side, Belgium and Poland are probably a touch overrated and have traditionally struggled at big tournaments.

From Pot 2 they’ll want to draw Peru, who haven’t been to the World Cup since 1982, or one of England, Switzerland or Croatia – they’re all fine teams, but not as powerful and dangerous as the likes of Spain, Uruguay and Mexico.

From Pot 3 the Super Eagles will want to draw Iceland, who are making their tournament debut and have overachieved just by qualifying. But in truth, none of the other teams from Pot 3 are particularly strong.

Summary: Russia, Peru and Iceland for Nigeria’s dream group draw.

And their worst?

It couldn’t get much worse than drawing reigning world champions Germany from Pot 1, 2010 winners Spain from Pot 2 and then Costa Rica from Pot 3 (because you can only have two European teams in a group).

Or how about Brazil from Pot 1, Spain from Pot 2 and Denmark from Pot 3? Either way, that’s about as bad as it can get for Nigeria.

Summary: Germany, Spain and Costa Rica, or Brazil, Spain and Denmark – either would represent the worst case for the Super Eagles.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 16:00


Senegal and Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane has revealed what he told Guinea international midfielder Naby Keita to lure him to the English Premier League giants.

The Lions of Teranga international revealed that their relationship at Red Bull Salzburg made it easy to convince the Guinean to move to the Reds.

“He is a really special player and is like family to me,” Liverpool ace Mane told Goal.com.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: IDRISSA GUEYE – WE WILL MAKE SENEGALESE PEOPLE PROUD AT 2018 WORLD CUP

“We were close at Salzburg and still keep in touch. I enjoy watching him and look forward to helping him again when he comes next year.

“He asked me about Liverpool and I told him this is an amazing club with talented players, a great manager and lots of ambition.

“The city and the people are really nice and he will feel at home here.”

Moreover, Keita said that Mane is still an important figure in his life and will always be, adding that he is looking forward to his stay at Anfield.

“Sadio was important for me, he still is!” Keita added.

“To me, he’s my big brother. He really likes to learn new things, to improve and to push himself and we are the same in this way – he’s a good example for me.”

Keita will officially join Jurgen Klopp’s men on July 1, 2018 after the Reds struck a deal worth an initial £51m with the German Bundesliga outift in August.



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Morocco’s best and worst case draw scenarios – 2018 FIFA World Cup


Herve Renard, coach of Morocco and players celebrates a victory during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Morocco and Ivory Coast at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 24 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 15:30


Ahead of tomorrow’s draw for the 2018 World Cup, AfricanFootball looks at both the best and worst case group stage scenarios for Morocco’s Atlas Lions.

Which pot are Morocco in?

The North Africans are in Pot 4 because their world ranking in October (48) put them amongst the eight lowest-rated teams to qualify for Russia 2018.

Which teams can they be drawn against?

– One of the teams in Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France

– One of the teams in Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia

– One of the following teams in Pot 3: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Iran

Which teams can they not be drawn against?

All of the other teams in Pot 4 – Nigeria, Serbia, Australia, Japan, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia – as well as the three Africans teams in Pot 3: Tunisia, Egypt and Senegal.

What’s their best-case scenario?

From Pot 1, Morocco will want to draw Russia. The 2018 hosts are easily the weakest team in that pool. Short of getting the home side, Belgium and Poland are probably a touch overrated and have traditionally struggled at big tournaments.

From Pot 2 they’ll want to draw Peru, who haven’t been to the World Cup since 1982, or one of England, Switzerland or Croatia – they’re all fine teams, but not as powerful and dangerous as the likes of Spain, Uruguay and Mexico.

From Pot 3 the Atlas Lions will want to draw Iceland, who are making their tournament debut and have overachieved just by qualifying. But in truth, none of the other teams from Pot 3 are particularly strong.

Summary: Morocco’s dream group stage draw would see them pooled with Russia, Peru and Iceland.

And their worst?

It couldn’t get much worse than drawing reigning world champions Germany from Pot 1, 2010 winners Spain from Pot 2 and then Costa Rica from Pot 3 (because you can only have two European teams in a group).

Or how about Brazil from Pot 1, Spain from Pot 2 and Denmark from Pot 3? Either way, that’s about as bad as it can get for Morocco.

Summary: Germany, Spain and Costa Rica, or Brazil, Spain and Denmark – either would represent the worst case for the Atlas Lions.



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Zimbabwe shock all by pulling out of 2017 CECAFA tournament


Zimbabwe winners of the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup match between Zambia and Zimbabwe at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 09 July 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Scent ition

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 15:00


Despite having initially agreed to participate at the upcoming 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge, Zimbabwe has pulled out of the East African tournament.

The Warriors were set to appear at the showpiece as guests, but are not going to Kenya due to security concerns.

Zimbabwe, along with Libya, had been invited as guests for the regional event that will include defending champions Uganda, hosts Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibar, Burundi, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

OBAFEMI MARTINS LIKELY TO RETURN TO NIGERIA SQUAD

With the showpiece starting this Sunday, coach Sunday Chidzambwa had announced a squad, but the Zimbabwe Football Association felt it was not safe for the team to play in Kenya.

“Following wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders, the Zimbabwe Football Association has resolved to withdraw its commitment to participate in the 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup due to the security risk posed by the volatile situation in the host country, Kenya,” ZIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.

On the other hand, CECAFA general secretary Nicholas Musonye confirmed they received a letter from the Southern African nation.

“Yes we have received communication from the Zimbabwe FA that they have pulled out the team,” Musonye told the BBC Sport.

Although a source close to the News Day website said the real reason for the withdrawal was because of the unavailability of funds, the FA has rubbished the claims.

Zimbabwe were set to face the Cranes of Uganda on Monday, December 4 and Musonye said they will adjust the fixtures.

He also said the tournament, set to run from 3-17 December, will go ahead.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Idrissa Gueye – We will make Senegalese people proud at 2018 World Cup – 2018 FIFA World Cup – Russia


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 10:00


The Everton FC midfielder has reflected on Senegal’s successful 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

His club has struggled in the English Premier League (EPL) this season which has resulted in the departure of coach Ronald Koeman, who has since been replaced by Sam Allardyce.

Gueye, who remains one of the most important players for Everton, has at least enjoyed the escapism of helping Senegal qualify for the World Cup.

The holding midfielder was 12 when Senegal first reached the tournament in South Korea and Japan in 2002.

In those days Gueye was playing barefoot on sandy roads with rocks for goalposts.

“I was in my village as a boy at that time and when Senegal score everyone is going out and celebrating,” Gueye told Daily Mail.

“I will never forget this moment – it was the first time Senegal was at the World Cup.

“Now it’s the second time we have qualified and hopefully we make the people of Senegal proud.”

Gueye, who is a key player for Senegal, played eight games during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

The 28-year-old helped Everton beat West Ham United 4-0 in an EPL match on Wednesday.

He played the entire match which was played at the iconic Goodison Park.



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Obafemi Martins likely to return to Nigeria squad – 2018 FIFA World Cup


Eagles striker Obafemi Martins against Swaziland in Lobambo

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 09:30


Nigerian national team scout Victor Agali has hinted that striker Obafemi Martins and midfielder Joel Obi could make their return to the Super Eagles squad.

Igali has warned the team’s fans not to be surprised if the duo is called up by coach Gernot Rohr for their games next year.

Martins ended the season in spectacular form for Chinese Cup winners Shanghai Shenhua, whilst Obi has impressed Rohr with his displays for Italian side Torino.

Their form has caught the attention of Rohr, and according to Agali, the duo are set for a recall to the team next year, but they have to keep ‎working hard.

“All players who are currently performing to expectation in their respective club sides have equal chance,” Agali said to Sportsvillagesquare.

“The coach {Rohr] is a disciplinarian who welcomes players based on merit.

“Don’t be surprised to see the likes of in-form Obafemi Martins, Joel Obi and others returning to the team, and I myself won’t hesitate to scout for more legs that will help maintain the good form.”



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Manyama finds form in Turkey


by
Staff Reporter

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 09:00


Bafana Bafana international Lebogang Manyama has finally found some sort of form in Turkey, bagging a brace in a man-of-the-match display for club side Konyaspor in their Turkish Cup first-leg victory over Batman Petrolspor.

The 27-year-old, who joined the Süper Lig outfit following an outstanding 2016-17 season for Cape Town City, has struggled for game time at his new club.

Manyama, though, will be hoping that the double will spark his European career into life.

The attacker played a integral part in the game’s opener before netting his first for the club 10 minutes into the second stanza following a goalkeeping error.

CEDRIC BAKAMBU BECOMES FIRST AFRICAN TO CLINCH LA LIGA ACCOLADE

Manyama completed his brace soon after to round off a superb outing for the Turkish club who now turn their attention back to league action.

Konyaspor haven’t won a league game in the month of November, but will be hoping that the cup win will carry over into their upcoming clash against Bursaspor this coming weekend.



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Urban Warriors suffer narrow defeat to SuperSport – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Aubrey Modiba of Supersport United celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Supersport United and Ajax Cape Town at Mbombela Stadium, Mpumalanga South Africa on 29 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 22:08


SuperSport United held on to beat Ajax Cape Town 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Wednesday evening.

It was a game of two halves, with the Urban Warriors a different unit following a first half dominated by Matsatsantsa. Stanley Menzo’s troops, though, failed to turn dominance into goals as they slumped to defeat in the Mpumalanga province.

Following a rather cagey opening to the encounter, Matsatsantsa hit the front through Aubrey Modiba in the 25th minute.

Richard Kissi Boateng the provider with the fullback’s curling cross expertly met by Modiba who lost his marker before nodding home from close range – Jody February with no chance.

The Urban Warriors shot-stopper was called into action to keep out Fagrie Lakay’s long range shot soon after, before getting down well to deny former Ajax Cape Town striker Bradley Grobler.

The forward’s rasping effort from the edge of the area looked destined for the back of the net, but February was up to the task.

Matsatsantsa 1-0 up at the interval and deservedly so.

The Urban Warriors came out firing following the break and were unlucky not to draw level in the 56th minute through Mosa Lebusa.

The Ajax Cape Town captain took it upon himself to lead his chargers in attack, but Reyaad Pieterse denied the fullback from close range.

Tashreeq Morris then saw his powerful effort saved by the SuperSport goal-minder as the Urban Warriors looked sure to get something out of the clash.

But, despite an improved showing in the second stanza, the visitors were unable to conjure a goal as SuperSport held on for all three points. Victory moves the hosts up to 10th spot – Ajax Cape Town remain in 14th place on the log standings.

SuperSport United (1) 1 (Modiba 25′)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

SuperSport United: Pieterse; Kekana, Gould, Egwuekwe, Boateng – Furman, Letsholonyane (Mashamaite 90+1′), Modiba – Lakay (Mbule 60′), Phala, Grobler (Brockie 79′).

Ajax Cape Town: February; Lebusa, Booysen, Nhlapo, Evans (Sasman 71′) – Pietersen, Margeman, Mzwakali (Losper 85′) – Mosadi, Phohlongo (George 41′), Morris.



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Sampdoria and Genk keeping tabs on Egyptian keeper Ahmed El-Shennawy


Sampdoria and Genk keeping tabs on Egyptian keeper Ahmed El-Shennawy”/>

Zamalek’s goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shenawy (R) in action against Wydad Casablanca’s William Jebor (L) during the African Champions League (CAF) Semi Final first leg soccer match between Zamalekand Wydad Casablanca at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 16 September 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 20:00


Italian media reports reveal that Serie A giants Sampdoria and Belgium’s KRC Genk are keeping tabs on Egyptian international goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawy.

The 26-year-old goalkeeper, who has a $1.5 million release clause in his Zamalek contract, has been a regular this season having made 110 appearances since joining from Al Masry in 2012.

According to Calciomercato, he could head to Italy or Belgium as both clubs are interested in his services.

Sampodria have Italy international Emiliano Viviano, Christian Puggioni, Titas Krapikas and Andrea Tozzo in their goalkeeping department and will look to strengthen it with El-Shennawy.

Meanwhile, Genk’s goalkeeping options are Danny Vukovic, Nordin Jackers and Gaëtan Coucke, but the Egyptian is more experienced at international level.

El-Shennawy was part of the Zamalek team that won the domestic double in 2015 and has also lifted the Egypt Cup title with the White Knights in 2016.

He made his international debut in 2011 against Niger in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers, going on to make 28 appearances for the Pharaohs this far.



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South Africa’s Gavin Hunt condemns Telkom KO final venue – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Head Coach Gavin Hunt of Bidvest Wits during 2017 Telkom Knockout Bidvest Wits Training at Stir rock Park in Braamfontein South Africa on 28 November 2017 © Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 19:30


Ahead of the South African Telkom Knockout final against Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has lambasted the quality of the pitch at Princess Magogo Stadium.

The Clever Boys mentor believes the pitch is not in tip top quality, but hopes the weather will be suitable for a good game of football.

Hunt revealed that they sent a team representatives to inspect the pitch at the KwaMashu Stadium this week.

“Shew‚ shew‚ shew. Listen‚ it is what it is. We’ve got to concentrate on the rules and play football,” said the coach.

“But it is a bit‚ it is a bit…you know. It threw everybody a curve ball‚ didn’t it? It was like‚ ‘Yuh‚ OK’.

“The pitch has been dug up last week because there were teams training on it in the rain. So the pitch is not great.

“We saw it, we went there yesterday to have a look at it – it’s an open area. So please God the weather is good.”

The 12000-seater venue will host a major cup final for the first time on Saturday at 18:00 (CAT).



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Morocco’s Adel Taarabt linked with Spanish move – 2018 FIFA World Cup


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 18:30


Genoa’s Moroccan midfielder Adel Taarabt has been linked with a move to Spain’s La Liga following his strong form this season.

The 28-year-old Atlas Lions player has been a standout figure for Genoa in Serie A, making 13 appearances (12 starts) and racking up two goals.

His efforts have mostly been in vain, with Genoa sitting just above the relegation zone after 14 rounds, but they have attracted attention from elsewhere in Europe.

Calcio Mercato reports that Taarabt is being closely monitored by Spanish giants Sevilla (amongst others), who are poised to make a move for the player at the end of the season.

The versatile attacking midfielder is currently on loan at Genoa from Portuguese side Benfica, and has also featured for Lens, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Fulham and Milan in his club career.



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