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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Partey – Ghanaian key to Atletico’s cause – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Partey - Ghanaian key to Atletico's cause

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 12:56


Thomas Partey is quickly establishing himself as a key member of Diego Simeone’s squad, and is on course to enjoy his best season at Atlético Madrid.

The 24-year-old has been the Argentine’s preferred choice in the defensive midfield position during the current campaign and has already racked up 11 appearances for the Spanish giants this season.

Partey has also added goals to his game and starred for Ghana in recent 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – notably netting a hat-trick in a 5-1 thumping of Congo in Brazzaville.

The Black Stars ace could be in action for Atletico this evening as they take on Elche in a Copa Del Rey encounter.

Atlético are yet to taste defeat in the Spanish La Liga this season, but have made a slow start to their UEFA Champions League campaign – the club are winless after three group stage matches.

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Yaya Toure can still play key role – Kolo Toure – African Football

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Yaya Toure can still play key role - Kolo Toure

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 07, 2017. 15:00


Ivory Coast star Yaya Toure can still play a key role for Manchester City this season, according to his elder brother Kolo Toure.

The younger Toure has yet to get off the bench for the Citizens in their Premier League campaign, with coach Pep Guardiola opting for Fernandinho to play in defensive midfield.

The 34-year-old former Elephants captain is now considered a squad player more than a first-team regular, but Kolo reckons he still has great value to offer.

“Yaya is a top player. For me, he has always been one of the best midfielders in the world,” Kolo said at Soccerex.

“When he was playing in Ukraine not many people were listening to me because he was in another country but I’m not surprised about his career and what he is still doing at his age.

“I think he can still play a really key role in this Man City team because his passing is one of the best in the world, he can break lines and start action from the back.

“Of course, to run is more difficult with age but if there is a runner that can fight for the ball and give him the ball then Yaya can just be the maestro from the back.”

Toure will hope to feature for Man City when they host Liverpool in an eagerly-anticipated Premier League clash on Saturday afternoon.

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Atsu: Newcastle United can do well without key players – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

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by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Aug 15, 2017. 18:00


Newcastle United midfielder Christian Atsu has urged his club team-mates to stick together following their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

The Magpies were brushed 2-0 by Spurs in their first 2017/18 English Premier League (EPL) match at the St James’ Park in Newcastle on Sunday.

“We went into the game with a very strong mentality – trying to win. We did really well in the first half and made things difficult for them,” Atsu told the club’s official website.

“We created a couple of chances but after the red card, when we had ten men, it became really hard,”

“We had to stick together. Individually, we knew they were better than us, so we needed to play as a team. We did that,” the 25-year-old winger added.

“We need to believe in ourselves, and continue to stick with our game-plans. We just need to keep our focus, keep working hard and try to win our next game.”

Newcastle, who were promoted from the English Championship in April, 2017, had to substitute Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune after they sustained injuries.

Atsu’s side are now scheduled to take on Huddersfield Town in their next league match which will be played at The John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday.

“The team is ready. Although we lost two players, you did not see any difference – you could see all the players are well-prepared for anything that happens,” the Ghanaian international said.

“We will need to win games before we become more confident, but I think the team is really solid and playing really well.

“We thank the fans for their support. They have been amazing. We will come back stronger to give them what they deserve.”

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Inacio: Unconvincing Zamalek have lost key players

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Inacio: Unconvincing Zamalek have lost key players

Mostafa Fathi (L) and Shikabala

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Jul 25, 2017. 16:00


Zamalek head coach Augusto Inacio has explained why they could not win their first game in the 2016/17 Arab Club Championship Group B.

The Egyptian giants were held to a 2-2 draw by Moroccan side Fath Union Sport at the Alexandria, Egypt on Sunday.

The Portuguese tactician blamed the depleted state of the squad for Zamalek’s poor performance.

“FUS Rabat is a good team but we played them with a shortage in the squad and we will continue to suffer from this issue in the coming games,” Inacio said on Ahram Online.

“We only have two wingers in our squad, Shikabala and Ahmed Refaat, and with the latter’s injury we played with no winger.

“I am not a magician capable of doing more than we did during the FUS Rabat game. All the players gave their best and performed well,” he added.

“But we can’t achieve victory while we are lacking this number of players in the squad. I can’t do more than what I did with the team.

“I am not responsible for selling Mostafa Fathi and Stanley (Ohawuchi). I am not the person who sells the players,” he continued.

“Two players left the team without replacements for them being signed. You want to blame the coach for the poor results, but I can’t change the players’ positions.”

Group B also includes Lebanon side Al-Ahed and Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr, and the two sides drew 1-1 in their first match.

Zamalek will face Al-Ahed in their next Group B match at the Borg Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Wednesday.

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Zesco held 1-1 in derby ahead of key CAF clash – 2017 CAF Confederation Cup

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Zesco held 1-1 in derby ahead of key CAF clash

Zesco United coach Serbian Krmpotic

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 18:00


Zesco United were held to a draw in a domestic league derby clash against Buildcon in midweek as they prepare for a crucial CAF Confederation Cup match.

Zesco host Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid in a crucial Group C clash this weekend which will determine whether they join their Sudanese opponents in the quarterfinals.

The Ndola based club were held 1-1 in a domestic league clash by Buildcon on Wednesday. The teams share the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium as their home base.

Jesse Were opened the scoring for Zesco later in the first half, but Buildcon equalised after the break through Chavda Maisha.

Zesco fielded a weakened line-up, with coach Zlatko Krmpotic keeping one eye on their African commitments on the weekend.

“It was a good game for our opponents but not for us. But with all the travelling we have done in the last few days, a point is good enough,” Krmpotic is quoted by SuperSport.

“I noticed in the second half that we were not very aggressive; I don’t know what happened but I think it was all down to fatigue. My players are tired.

“If you noticed, the team we put out today is not our first XI because we wanted some of our players to rest.

“And since we have a crucial game with Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid on Sunday, it is difficult to motivate players in a league game,” said Krmpotic.

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