post

Serie A Player of the Week Dugan Zapata

Another motion-packed spherical of Serie A motion has arrive and absent and, naturally, some players stood earlier mentioned the relaxation with their performances.

Luis Muriel and Fabio Quagliarella both of those shone in Florence wherever Fiorentina and Sampdoria performed out a thrilling 3-3 draw, when Stefano Sorrentino was spectacular in Turin even with conceding 3 at Juventus.

Dugan Zapata, though, was on yet another amount to everyone else as he bagged 4 goals away to Frosinone to enable Atalanta to a 5- win.

The Bergamaschi has scored a lot more than everyone else in Serie A this season (44) and the Colombian has been enjoying an extraordinary latest operate, netting thirteen goals in his previous 7 appearances, or fourteen in eight such as the Coppa Italia.

If Zapata can carry on his purple patch then Gian Piero Gasperini’s aspect will be hopeful of continuing their pursuit of European football until the very stop of the season, with them at this time harbouring hopes of even achieving the Champions League.

Serie A Live Scores

post

Alphonso Davies youngest player in MLS history to tab 10 assists in season

Alphonso Davies has definitely made a mark on the field in his time in MLS with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but he is also published his name in the file publications.

The 17-year-old, named the No. 1 player on the 2018 22 Under 22 listing on Thursday, has 6 goals and 11 assists in MLS typical season play to date this season, his breakout campaign.

In the method, he turned the youngest player in league history to notch at least 10 assists, smashing the file held by Landon Donovan, who did it at 19 a long time, 174 days, as opposed to Davies’ 17 a long time, 268 days, in accordance to Elias Sports Bureau. Donovan and Davies are the only two adolescents in MLS history to have tallied at least 10 assists in a one season.

post

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.



Source link

post

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.



Source link

post

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.



Source link

post

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.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Faouzi Ghoulam – Algerian to miss crunch match against Juventus


Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 19:00


The knee injury suffered by Algerian star Faouzi Ghoulam means he will continue to miss Napoli’s big matches, including this weekend’s showdown with Juventus.

The match at Stadio San Paolo kicks off at 21h45 CAT and sees ‘Partenopei’ host the ‘Old Lady’ in one of Italian football’s classic rivalries.

The match also has significance in terms of the Serie A title race. Napoli currently top the log on 38 points, while defending champions Juve are four points behind in third place.

Ghoulam, sadly, will have to watch the game from the stands due to his long-term absence, but his future with the club remains headline news.

Though reports of a contract extension with Napoli have been prominent in the last couple of weeks, the Algerian remains a transfer target for the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.



Source link

post

Chelsea manager: Victor Moses an important player for us – 2018 FIFA World Cup


Chelsea’s Victor Moses (L) in action against Arsenal‘s Danny Welbeck (R) during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 15:00


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted that the injury-enforced absence of Nigerian star Victor Moses has been a major blow to his team.

The Super Eagles wide-man has missed the last nine matches across all competitions for Chelsea, having picked up an injury in a 2-1 loss against Crystal Palace in mid-October.

Moses began training with the first team last week and was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool this past weekend.

He could well make his comeback into the team during tonight’s Premier League clash at home to Swansea City.

“He is in contention but at the same time I have to make the best decision for every player,” Conte was quoted as saying by Football.London.

“For sure Victor is back from a bad injury and needs a bit of time to find the best physical condition. He is an important player for us.”



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Partey – Ghanaian continues to shine for Atletico – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Atletico Madrid‘s players Koke Resurreccion (R) and Thomas Partey during a training session

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 13:00


Ghana international Thomas Partey has continued his stunning run of form for club side Atletico Madrid, with the 24-year-old proving his versatility in a 5-0 walloping of Levante this past weekend.

Atleti remain unbeaten in this season’s Spanish La Liga, with Partey one of their outstanding players thus far.

The midfielder-come-fullback, held his own at right-back in the club’s 2-0 win over Roma in the UEFA Champions League before starring in the same position in league success on Saturday.

Having added goals to his game in a more advanced role in midfield, Partey has since proven his worth at fullback and surely if needed – he will play as a striker too!

GERNOT ROHR EXTENDS HIS CONTRACT WITH NIGERIA UNTIL 2020https://africanfootball.com/news/735981/Gernot-Rohr-extends-his-contract-with-Nigeria-until-2020

The run of form comes as just reward for Partey who struggled for game time in the Spanish capital leading up to the current campaign.

In total, the former Mallorca and Almeria man has played 18 games this season across all competitions, scoring four goals.

Atletico return to action this evening in the Copa del Rey with a clash against Elche.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT :Jean Michael Seri – Ivorian open to PSG switch


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 13:00


Ivory Coast international Jean Michael Seri has expressed his desire to join French Ligue 1 rivals Paris-Saint Germain.

The Nice midfielder, who has watched his club side fail to replicate the sort of form they produced last season, has been dominating the news of late – despite a rather underwhelming run of form for the 26-year-old personally.

Seri attracted strong interest from Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona in the European summer, only for a proposed deal to fall through.

The former versatile playmaker, though, is hopeful that a big money move will come his way sooner rather than later, with Arsenal and PSG possible destinations.

When asked if there had been contact from PSG, Seri told Le Parisien: “Yes, there have been, especially with the sports director Antero Henrique.

“If I leave Nice, it will be for a team where I feel desired and who play good football.

“Paris has this philosophy, to which I am very attached. So why not?”

Seri has been directly involved in five goals in 15 appearances across all competitions this season, as Nice continue to struggle at the wrong end of the league standings.



Source link

post

Player Spotlight: Christian Bassogog – Cameroonian star provides injury update


epa06035856 Christian Bassogog (L) of Cameroon and Gonzalo Jara of Chile in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Cameroon and Chile at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, 18 June 2017. EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 19:00


The forward has provided an update regarding his injury which saw him miss Cameroon’s last match earlier this month.

Bassogog was called up for the Indomitable Lions’ final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Zambia which ended in a 2-2 draw in Ndola on the 11th of November 2017.

The Cameroon medical team indicated that the player was not fit for the match after discovering that the China-based striker was carrying a knee injury.

Bassogog has informed Camfoot that he’s recovering well from the injury during the Chinese Super League off-season.

“My injury is improving and I think I’ll be back soon. I am on vacation for now and I will take the opportunity to heal,” Bassogog said.

The 22-year-old marksman netted 10 goals in 24 league appearances for Henan Jianye during the 2017 Chinese Super League season.

The team managed to survive relegation and they are set to campaign in the elite league during the 2018 campaign.

He recently indicated that he would consider offers from European clubs having joined Jianye from Danish side AaB Fodbold in February 2017.



Source link

post

Player Spotlight: Mario Lemina – Gabon star could start against Manchester City – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Manchester United’s Marouane Fellani (L) and Southampton’s Mario Lemina in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Britain, 23 September 2017.

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 16:00


The highly-rated central midfielder made his first competitive appearance for his club Southampton in just over month on Sunday.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino introduced Lemina with 12 minutes left as the Saints beat Everton 4-1 in an English Premier League game at home.

The Gabonese international has recovered well from an ankle injury which he sustained after facing West Bromwich Albion in a league game on the 21st of October 2017.

Lemina has been one of the Saints’ best players this season having joined the club from Italian Serie A giants Juventus prior to the current campaign.

The Saints provided an injury update ahead of their away league game with high-flying Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

A club statement read: “Mauricio Pellegrino has no injury concerns for his team’s Premier League trip to Manchester City, with long-term absentee Matt Targett the only player set to skip Wednesday’s encounter.

“The Argentine has practically a full squad to choose from at the Etihad Stadium, with Mario Lemina having made his first appearance in just over month from the substitute’s bench against Everton on Sunday.

“Lemina completed the final 12 minutes of Southampton’s comprehensive 4-1 victory over the Toffees, his first sight of action since the home meeting with West Bromwich Albion on 21 October.

“Saints’ midfield options are set to be boosted further by the return of Oriol Romeu after a one-match suspension.”

Lemina, 24, has made eight league appearances for Southampton this season.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Senegal’s finest named in Italy Team of the Year – 2018 FIFA World Cup


Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 13:00


As he continues to help Italian Serie A giants Napoli to challenge for the Serie A title, Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been named in the Serie A Team of the Year.

Together with the likes of Juventus and former Azzurri goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, the Lions of Teranga centre back has been included in the Best XI.

With Koulibaly’s excellent displays, Napoli have conceded nine goals and scored 35 as they lead the Serie A table with 38 points from 14 matches.

They are yet to lose this term and together with AS Roma, are the only two teams with a good defensive record after conceding less than 10 goals so far.

An inclusion in the team of the year comes as a massive boost for the 26-year-old defender who will hope to lead the side to glory come the end of the campaign.

Apart from Buffon, Koulibaly has been named in the Best XI with six Juve players teammates from last season such as Leonardo Bonucci, Alex Sandro, Dani Alves, Miralem Pjanic, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.

Napoli has Koulibaly, Marek Hamsik and Dries Merten in the squad whilst Roma’s Radja Nainggolan completes the squad and Maurizio Sarri is named the Coach of The Year.

Fresh from a 1-0 win over Udinese last weekend, they will now turn their focus to the tie against Juventus on Friday, December 1 at home.

Manager Sarri will want to bag a win and will count on Kalidou and company to secure another clean sheet to consolidate their top spot.



Source link

post

Player Spotlight: Mohamed Salah – ‘The Egyptian winger’s goalscoring record is ridiculous’ – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 19:00


English international Joe Gomez has described Salah’s goalscoring record since his move to Liverpool as ‘ridiculous’.

This is after the Egyptian international hit the back of the net for the Reds in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the Anfield Stadium in an English Premier League game.

Salah, who broke the deadlock in the 65th minute against his former side, netted his 15th goal of the season out of 20 competitive appearances for the Reds.

As a result, the 25-year-old is the league’s top goalscorer with 10 goals having joined Liverpool from Italian side AS Roma prior to the current season.

“He’s come in and he’s been a massive addition to us, unbelievable. The goals he has scored but also his general play, his link-up,” Gomez told Liverpool’s official website.

“Our whole attacking force is quality, everybody knows that, so hopefully he can keep doing it for us.”

Salah’s goal was ultimately cancelled out by a late goal from Chelsea substitute Willian, but Gomez remained keen to take the positives from an industrious performance.

“I think we battled well and were aggressive from the start. We dominated generally, created some good chances and Mo got another goal for us, then we looked like we were going to hold on,” the 20-year-old said about his club teammate.

“But it was a decent bit of a skill [from Willian], I don’t know whether he meant it or not but it’s unlucky for us and disappointing not to get all three points.

“We knew they’d have the wing-backs wide and Hazard and Morata would come and pick up the ball and do what they do,” he continued.

“We were wary of their threats and did our best to try and stop them. We had our fair bit of play as well – they had their chances but so did we.

“They’re a top side, they’re champions, so we’ve got to take the positives.”

Salah will be keen to continue his scoring form for Liverpool when they face Stock City away in a league game on Wednesday.



Source link

post

Player Spotlight: Cedric Bakambu – Congolese striker named best player in Spanish La Liga – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 16:00


The lethal striker has deservedly been named the best player in the Spanish La Liga for the month of October.

Bakambu, who was born in France to DR Congolese parents, has been in top form for Villarreal this season having scored 12 goals in 17 matches in all competitions.

The former Sochaux player grabbed a brace against Kazajistan’s Astana in an UEFA Europa League game on Thursday, before scoring against Sevilla in a La Liga match on Sunday.

La Liga announced that the DR Congo international was the October Player of the Month after scoring six goals during the month.

A statement read: “Cedric Bakambu named LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for October.

“The Villarreal forward picks up this accolade for the first time in his career after netting six times last month.

“Villarreal CF striker Cedric Bakambu has been named the LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for October.

“His goalscoring exploits last month helped Villarreal soar up the table into the Europa League qualification spots.

“The France-born Congolese star’s six strikes in October have seen him receive the award for the first time in his career.

“The 26-year-old scored a hat-trick against SD Eibar in a 3-0 victory, struck twice in a 2-1 away win at Girona FC and once in Villarreal’s 4-0 thrashing of UD Las Palmas.”

The 26-year-old collected the accolade before Villarreal’s clash with Sevilla on Sunday.

Bakambu, who was born in France to DR Congolese parents, has been in top form for Villarreal this season having scored 12 goals in 17 matches in all competitions.

The former Sochaux player grabbed a brace against Kazajistan’s Astana in an UEFA Europa League game on Thursday, before scoring against Sevilla in a La Liga match on Sunday.

La Liga announced that the DR Congo international was the October Player of the Month after scoring six goals during the month.

A statement read: “Cedric Bakambu named LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for October.

“The Villarreal forward picks up this accolade for the first time in his career after netting six times last month.

“Villarreal CF striker Cedric Bakambu has been named the LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for October.

“His goalscoring exploits last month helped Villarreal soar up the table into the Europa League qualification spots.

“The France-born Congolese star’s six strikes in October have seen him receive the award for the first time in his career.

“The 26-year-old scored a hat-trick against SD Eibar in a 3-0 victory, struck twice in a 2-1 away win at Girona FC and once in Villarreal’s 4-0 thrashing of UD Las Palmas.”

The 26-year-old collected the accolade before Villarreal’s clash with Sevilla on Sunday.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Newcastle need their Ghana star to return – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 13:00


Ghanaian Christian Atsu was again absent as Newcastle United slumped to a fourth successive defeat on Saturday.

The Magpies were given a chastening 3-0 beating at home by Watford, with Atsu missing a second successive match following the thigh injury he supposedly aggravate while on international duty with the Black Stars.

The loss to the Hornets is a fourth in succession for Rafael Benitez’s side, who have also been beaten by Burnley, Bournemouth and Manchester United in the sequence.

The defeat to United at Old Trafford is to be expected given the difference in the respective teams’ ambitions, but the losses against the other three will be major worries for Newcastle fans.

The club has dropped to 13th place on the log and is just four points above the relegation zone.

The good news is that Atsu is nearing a return from injury, with Benitez revealing last week that the winger is making encouraging progress.

The Magpies may even be tempted to fast-track his return when they face West Bromwich Albion in a midweek Premier League clash at the Hawthorns tomorrow night.

Short of that, they’ll definitely want him for the high profile match away to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 2, where Atsu’s pace and penetration on the counter attack could be a key facet of their game plan.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: John Obi Mikel – Nigeria skipper criticised by academy founder – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Mikel at his Chinese club Tianjin Teda

by
Staff Reporter

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 10:00


With Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel no doubt looking forward to learning his side’s group stage opponents for the 2018 World Cup when the draw is held this coming Friday, he has been criticised by the founder of an academy he attended as a youngster.

Former Nigeria Football Federation technical director Kashimawo Laloko, who founded the Pepsi Football Academy at Agege Stadium in Lagos, believes Mikel – a product of the institution – has not done enough to give back to the youth in Nigerian football.

“Mikel was brought to limelight through our Jos centre around 1995 to 2002. We gave him the breakthrough that made Nigerians to know him,” Laloko is quoted by the Vanguard.

“He was unpolished when he came but we refined him. If not for us, maybe, he would not be where he is today but since he became a star, I have not heard that he visited the Jos centre to donate a pair of jersey to the players there. That is most unfair.

“Some former players give us money for the running of the centres but Mikel has not done such. Osaze is an example of a player who paid us because he recognised what we did for him.

“There was a time we wanted to use Mikel in a advertising campaign for the academy but he shunned us. His agent was asking us to pay a huge sum of money but Mr. Nelson could not believe it and that was how the deal fell through. I don’t think Mikel has done well for Nigerian youths.”

With Mikel currently enjoying the off season, following the completion of the Chinese Super League’s 2017 campaign earlier this month, perhaps he’ll make time to give back to those who helped his rise in the game.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Riyad Mahrez – Will he be tempted to join Pep Guardiola at City? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Leicester pair Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy celebrate

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 19:00


Manchester City are reportedly battling it out against Arsenal for the signature of Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez.

The Algerian has been a subject of speculation in recent times, with more clubs linked with the left-footed winger.

Media reports in Spain suggest that City manager, Pep Guardiola is reportedly an admirer of the tricky midfielder and is hopeful of adding more attacking talent to his squad.

Meanwhile, Mahrez has also been linked with moves to the Gunners and Chelsea, but insists he is ‘settled’ at King Power Stadium, despite an attempt to leave in the last transfer window.

To add fuel to the speculation, Guardiola was spotted chatting with the Desert Foxes international at the end of the Blues’ 2-0 victory over Leicester last weekend.

“Everyone knows that I had desires to leave, except that it did not happen. I do not want to think of the transfer window at the moment. We still have 12 games to play until January, so if I thought of the transfer window now, I will not play football anymore,” Mahrez recently told the Daily Star.

With his future remaining unclear, will Mahrez be tempted to join the title changing City and possibly add to his EPL gold medal?



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Sadio Mane – Quiet in the dressing room, but a real fighter – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


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

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 16:00


Sadio Mane’s Senegal teammate Pape Souare says the Liverpool forward is always quiet and prefers to let his feet do the talking on the field of play.

The Crystal Palace defender in the English Premier League reveals that they were always driven by the dream to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

Mane was only 10-years-old when the Lions of Teranga reached the knockout stages of the 2002 edition in Japan and South Korea.

Coach Aliou Cisse, who was part of the 2002 heroes team, will now pin his hopes on the ‘Smiling Assassin’ to carry the team’s hopes heading to Russia next year.

BOTSWANA FA EXPECTED BONDO TO MAKE WORLD CUP REFEREES LIST

“In the dressing room, he is a quiet guy but he’s a very nice guy and a good character to have around,” Souare told BBC Sport.

“Sadio is a complete player. He is very fast, has quick feet and can change direction very quickly.”

On the other hand, Liverpool fan Gareth Roberts, who is the editor of The Anfield Wrap podcast, added that the 25-year-old is a real fighter.

“One thing I like about Mane is that he’s got real fight, real character,” added Roberts.

“If the game is not going your way, you can always rely on Mane to keep going, keep plugging away, keep trying to win the match – he’s got that fighting spirit.

“While there’s been huge debate about Philippe Coutinho potentially leaving, actually Sadio Mane is arguably Liverpool’s most important player right now.”



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – All eyes on Dortmund ace – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 13:00


Eyes will be fixed on Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when the German Bundesliga club welcome fierce rivals Schalke 04 to the iconic Signal Iduna Park this weekend.

The Gabon international missed the club’s 2-1 defeat away to Stuttgart after being axed from the squad due to a reported breach of team protocol, but made his return in a midweek UEFA Champions League tie.

The 28-year-old finding the back of the net in a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur as Dortmund’s struggles in Europe’s premier cup competition continued.

That, though, will be quickly forgotten with victory over the ‘Royal Blues’ in the The Revierderby on Saturday, as Dortmund aim to resurrect their season having initially gotten off to a blistering start.

FORMER CAMEROON GOALKEEPER: ALGERIA’S PROBLEM ISN’T THE COACH

Aubameyang has scored 16 goals in 18 appearances across all competitions this season, but hasn’t found the back of the net in Germany’s top-flight since mid-October.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Naby Keita – Gets the nod in the UEFA Champions League Best XI – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Naby Keita celebrates his winner against Borussia Dortmund

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 16:00


Guinea and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita has been included in the UEFA Champions League XI of the group stages.

The Syli Nationale anchorman makes the cut as one of the best midfielders in Europe’s biggest club competition.

Keita has been a crucial member of the squad, especially in their quest to become one of the biggest sides in the European game.

The German Bundesliga outfit recently shocked French champions AS Monaco on Tuesday as they cruised to a 4-1 win.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: VINCENT ABOUBAKAR – CAMEROONIAN’S CLUB STILL FIGHTING FOR UCL PROGRESSION

Keita scored their fourth goal with a neat and a calm finish whilst giving Liverpool fans a glimpse of what to expect next year.

Although Leipzig are yet to cement their place in the knockout stages as they are facing Turkish side Besiktas at home in their last match in the group, he will hope to score again.

They have seven points at number three in the group whilst the Turkish side top the standings with 11 points from five matches.

Media speculation doing the rounds in Europe is that should Leipzig fail to reach the knockout stages, Keita could be allowed to move to Anfield in January.

In the UEFA’s Best XI team: Igor Akinfeev (GK – CSKA Moscow), Michael Lang (FC Basel), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Bas Dost (Sporting Lisbon), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain).



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Vincent Aboubakar – Cameroonian’s club still fighting for UCL progression – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Porto’s striker Vincent Aboubakar

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 23, 2017. 13:00


Vincent Aboubacar’s Porto are still fighting to secure progression in the UEFA Champions League after drawing 1-1 with Besiktas in midweek.

The Tuesday evening clash at the Vodafone Stadium in Istanbul saw Porto claim the lead through Felipe, only to be pegged back by Talisca. Aboubacar played the full 90 minutes, as did fellow African star Yacine Brahimi.

The result saw the Turkish side secure top spot in Group G and a place in the knockout rounds, but the Portuguese giants were left level with RB Leipzig on seven points in the battle for second place.

The fate of Aboubacar’s side will rest on their final group stage clash at home to Monaco on December 6, where they will need to equal or better Leipzig’s result at home to Besiktas.

In the meantime, Aboubacar will ready himself for Porto’s next domestic league match, as they travel to Desportivo Aves on Saturday night and look to maintain their place at the top of the Primeira Liga standings.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Faouzi Ghoulam – Algerian set to secure future with Napoli – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 19:00


Algerian left-back Faouzi Ghoulam may be sidelined for the long term with a knee injury, but his future with Italian club Napoli remains headline news.

The Fennec Foxes star has been one of the most talked-about Africans stars in the transfer market, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Ghoulam was linked with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and even Barcelona, with a move in the January transfer window looking very likely – until he suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this month.

In the wake of these events, it has emerged that Napoli are very close to agreeing a new contract with the Algerian.

Tuttomercatoweb has reported that a new deal for Ghoulam to remain at the Stadio San Paolo until June 2022 will soon be inked, with confirmation of the agreement set to arrive before the end of next week.

Meanwhile, Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri has described the Algerian as one of the best left-backs in European football and has admitted that his absence has been a major blow to the team.

“The absence of Ghoulam? I think it is difficult at the moment to replace it. I would say that there are currently only one or two players in Europe capable of replacing him,” said Sarri this past weekend.

“Before he got hurt, Ghoulam was one of the top three left-backs in Europe.”



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Partey – Ghanaian sets sights on downing Roma – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey (2-R)

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 13:00


Eyes will be firmly set on Ghana international midfielder Thomas Partey as Atletico Madrid aim to finally ignite their UEFA Champions League campaign.

The Spanish giants are yet to register a win after four rounds of fixtures, with three draws and a defeat leaving their hopes of progression hanging by a thread.

Successive stalemates against Azerbaijan side Qarabag came as a huge blow to Atletico’s chances, but Diego Simeone’s troops can still haul in both Chelsea and Group C leaders Roma.

RIYAD MAHREZ: I’M NOT THINKING ABOUT THE TRANSFER WINDOW NOW

Partey, who has been in good form for both club and country this season, will be eager to continue his rise having netted his first Champions League goal last time out,

The 24-year-old has scored four goals in 16 appearances across all competitions this season.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Bassogog – The Cameroon star does not regret moving to China – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


epa06035856 Christian Bassogog (L) of Cameroon and Gonzalo Jara of Chile in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 group B soccer match between Cameroon and Chile at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, 18 June 2017. EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 19:00


Many were surprised when one of Africa’s most promising youngsters, Bassogog joined Chinese club Henan Jianye in February, 2017.

Bassogog, who was 21 at the time, had played an instrumental role in helping Cameroon win the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Gabon.

The 2017 AFCON Player of the Tournament attracted interested from several European clubs, but he decided to join Jianye from Danish club AaB Fodbold.

Camfoot recently spoke to the talented forward, who scored 10 goals in 24 Chinese Super League matches during the 2017 season.

“When looking at me signing in China, I think I trusted my agents and they know what’s best for me. I will not say it’s a bad choice,” Bassogog said.

“I did not have any pressure. I am went to China because my agents saw a good opportunity. I had a good season.

“But Europe is not excluded. I can always come back at any time. Regarding visibility, if a player has good club performances, I think he can be can play everywhere,” the 22-year-old continued.

“So, I do not think that going to China I will not be able to play anywhere else. It was God who wanted me to go.

“Each of us often needs to take a step back to reflect … I received proposals from some European clubs that I do not want to reveal because I’m still under contract with my club.”



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Mario Lemina – Fingers crossed for Gabon midfield maestro’s return – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Manchester United’s Marouane Fellani (L) and Southampton’s Mario Lemina in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton FC and Manchester United at Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Britain, 23 September 2017.

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 16:00


English Premier League (EPL) side Southampton FC have solely missed the 24-year-old central midfielder, who is currently out nursing an ankle injury.

Mauricio Pellegrini, the Southampton manager, recently announced that Gabon international Lemina would miss their league clash with Liverpool FC.

Most Saints fans were left disappointed and the team went on to suffer a 3-0 defeat to the Reds at the Anfield Stadium on Saturday.

However, Pellegrini did state that Lemina, who has impressed at Southampton after joining the club from Italian giants Juventus, had shown positive progress in his recovery.

Daily Echo, which is one of the leading publications in the city of Southampton, have indicated that the club will be hoping that Lemina makes his return against Everton on Sunday.

“Oriol Romeu will miss Saints’ game against Everton after picking up his fifth booking of the season in the defeat at Liverpool.

“The combative midfielder will serve his one match suspension for the visit of the Toffees to St Mary’s.

“The club will be hoping that Mario Lemina can take his place in the side as he closes in on a return following an ankle injury,” a statement read.

Southampton will host Everton in a league encounter at the St Mary’s Stadium.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Condemns slavery in Libya – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 13:00


Joining the likes of Manchester United‘s Paul Pogba in supporting the victims of slavery in Libya, Senegal’s Kalidou Koulibaly has also expressed his outrage.

The Napoli defender in the Italian Serie A has joined many voices around the world in condemning the acts of slavery.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: ODION IGHALO – WHY HE WAKES UP AT 3AM TO WATCH WATFORD PLAY

Koulibaly took to Twitter following an investigation by CNN last week where it revealed the troubling extent to which migrants are being auctioned into slavery in the North African country.

The probe prompted a number of footballers such as Pogba who said his prayers go to those suffering from slavery.

“While very happy to be back, my prayers go to those suffering slavery in #Libya. May Allah be by your side and may this cruelty come to an end!,” Pogba tweeted.

Apart from the Red Devils anchorman, Cote d’Ivoire’s Cheick Doukure also paid tributes to the victirms after scoring for Levante in the Spanish La Liga against Las Palmas.

“All my thoughts are with the slaves in Libya #stopslavery,” Doukoure tweeted alongside pictures of a cross-armed celebration.

The Napoli centre back also added his voice, urging black brothers and sisters to stop violating human rights.



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Mohamed Salah – ‘The Egyptian star could score 70 goals this season’ – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


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

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 19:00


The 25-year-old has been in scintillating form for Liverpool FC, who are amongst the clubs challenging for this season’s English Premier League title.

Salah inspired the Reds to a 3-0 victory over Southampton in a league encounter which was played at the Anfield Stadium on Saturday by grabbing a brace.

The lethal winger, who joined Liverpool from Italian Serie A club AS Roma prior to the current season, is now the league’s top goalscorer with nine goals.

The brace took his tally up to 14 goals for this season having made 18 appearances in all competitions for the Reds and he has been praised by Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp.

“If he continued at this rate he would finish the season on something like 70 goals, which isn’t really likely,” Klopp told the media after the Southampton game.

“We [all] have these moments. He could have scored the penalty [against Huddersfield] and he’s missed some big chances, but I realise [then] it’s just a moment. I really understand.

“These shots are pretty normal for him, like Phil [Coutinho]. Sadio (Mane) is able to do it. Gini (Georginio Wijnaldum) too. And Ox (Alex Oxlade Chamberlain) – he’s able to do it,” the German continued.

“But he hasn’t had the opportunity very often so far. At this moment, it is working for him [Salah].”

Salah will be looking to continue his good scoring form when Liverpool face Spanish side Sevilla in an UEFA Champions League match on Tuesday.

He has scored five goals in six Champions League matches for the Reds.



Source link

post

Egyptian Karim Hafez bags Player of the Month Award in France – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 14:30


Egyptian international defender, Karim Hafez is delighted after he was voted as the October Player of the Month by fans at Racing Club Lens.

The Pharaohs defender also spoke about his ambition to start for Egypt and his future with the French Ligue2 side after becoming one of the club’s stand-out performers for October.

“It’s a pleasure for me to be voted player of the month because it values ​​my work and what I do. It gives me a lot of motivation, the desire to be the best on the field, it also gives me strength to help the team and the club, that’s what I want,” Hafez said.

TINKLER HAPPY WITH RESPONSE AS SSP NOW EYE AFRICAN GLORY

“Two goals and one assist, I’m very happy. I would like to help the team even more, work more for the club and myself, go higher.

“The situation is difficult but we are working with the coach and we still have four matches in the first leg, we will try to do our best, win these four games and take 12 points. And I would like us to start the return phase better than the first phase.

Hafez joined Lens in 2016 on loan from Lierse S.K., and had the deal renewed for a second season. He has described the Lens fans as incredible and said he was “happy” to play in front of them.

“I love this club, the fans, I like everything here. It’s a big club. I wish we had been promoted last season, but it’s football and we learn a lot. I’m still young so I learn a lot in football, I have time! But yes, I like this club.

“I do not know yet (regarding his future), I’m ready this year so we’ll see… I would like to go up to Ligue 1 with Lens, but in this situation it’s very difficult. I have to do my best this season, and we’ll see what happens next season.

“We played against Ghana and I played the whole game, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Now, I will try to work very hard to secure a place in the starting line-up.”



Source link

post

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Newcastle manager not blaming Ghana for injury – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Newcastle United’s Christian Atsu

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 13:00


With Christian Atsu currently on Newcastle United’s injury list, manager Rafael Benitez has refused to blame Ghana for the player’s unavailability.

The 25-year-old Black Stars winger missed the Magpies’ 4-1 defeat away to Manchester United this past weekend with a thigh injury.

The player first sustained the injury while playing for Newcastle against his former side Bournemouth ahead of the recent international break.

He then flew out to join the Ghana squad ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt, but was ruled out of the game due to the knock.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has since explained that Ghana were not to blame for the player’s injury.

“He had a kick during the game against Bournemouth, and after when he shot he was feeling it a little bit,” the Spanish tactician explained ahead of the game against Man United.

“He put some ice on it and said he was fine. Then he went away with the national team. He had a training session and they [Ghana] sent him back.

“It’s not the case that they were using him and then something happened. He had a little problem and then he went there, couldn’t play and he came back. It’s not that it’s their fault. It’s just something that happened.”

Benitez and Newcastle will hope Atsu returns to fitness and availability ahead of their match at home to Watford in the Premier League this coming Saturday.



Source link