The Afcon 2021 qualifiers resume on Wednesday across the African continent. FARPost looks at some of the players to watch in match day four and five of the qualifiers.
MOHAMED SALAH & MOSTAFA MOHAMED (EGYPT)
The last round of Afcon qualifying did not go so well for Salah when the Pharaohs forward tested positive for Covid19. Salah is back to try and put a tough few months with Liverpool behind him and give Egypt the win needed to send them to Cameroon in January next year.
Galatasaray forward Mohamed has also been in great form in recent months and he will be eager to lead the front line alongside the Liverpool star.
YOUSSEF EN-NESYRI & HAKIM ZIYECH (MOROCCO)
Morocco are another giant of African football that still has unfinished business in Afcon and qualification to the tournament is the first step towards glory. The North Africans have won the competition once and that was back in 1976.
There has been great expectation from the team in recent years, but they have failed to live up to it. Now they have one of Europe’s hottest strikers to lead the way, Youssef En-Nesyri.
Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech has started doing well under Thomas Tuchel. The attacker netted last weekend as the Blues defeated Sheffield United 2-0 to progress to the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
SAMUEL CHUKWUEZE, KELECHI IHEANACHO & VICTOR OSIMHEN (NIGERIA)
Chukwueze played his part with a goal when Nigeria drew 4-4 against Sierra Leone last year.
Gernot Rohr could partner the winger with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho as the West African nation looks to book their spot in Cameroon with one win in their last two games.
The Liverpool winger has been instrumental for the Lions of Teranga in the qualification process. Mane was one of the key players as the West African side became one of the first nations to qualify for the tournament.
PATSON DAKA, ENOCK MWEPU & FASHION SAKALA
Zambia is in desperate need of good performances to reach Cameroon and they will be relying on the prowess of their overseas-based contingent.
Patson Daka has been banging goals in Austria while Sakala has been a force in Belgium this season. Chipolopolo must overcome Algeria and Zimbabwe to progress to the finals.
One of the best players in the African continent at the moment, Mahrez will lead the Desert Foxes of Algeria as they look to qualify for the tournament and begin their quest of defending the continental trophy next year.
Musona has been given the responsibility of leading the Warriors of Zimbabwe against Zambia and Botswana. The Smiling Assassin has been in great form for his Belgian Pro League side Kas Eupen.
The Ajax Amsterdam midfielder will be one of the key figures for Ghana as they face South Africa and Sao Tome ePrincipe this week. Kudus already netted against Bafana Bafana when the Black Stars defeated the Cosafa nation 2-0 on match day one.
The South African is one of the top goal scorers in the qualifiers with three goals to his name and coach Molefi Ntseki will be relying on him to lead the front line especially with the likes of Bradley Grobler, Lebo Mothiba and Kermit Erasmus out through injury.
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By Prince Sobayeni