Africa Cup of Nations players to watch: Joe Aribo, Franck Kessie, Karl Toko Ekambi | Football news


The Africa Cup of Nations is live on Sky Sports and ahead of the competition has selected 10 players to watch …

Karl Toko Ekambi – Cameroon

Lyon have struggled in Ligue 1 this season and are heading towards Sunday’s meeting with PSG in the lower half of the table, but they would be in a much more perilous position without Karl Toko Ekambi. Only Lucas Paqueta (6) has scored more league goals than Ekambi (5) for Lyon this season and, for Cameroon, is the Europa League’s co-top scorer, with six goals in the group stage, proof that ‘it comes to life in the cup competition.

The Indomitable Lions will certainly look to the Lyon star to propel them to home glory.

Mohamed Bayo – Guinea

Mohamed bayo

Clermont Foot will miss Mohamed Bayo and more.

Bayo has scored nine of his 20 league goals and has a higher rating (6.98) than any other player on the promoted squad. Whether their next top scorer – Elbasan Rashani – has just four league goals under his belt is a concern for the Lancers. A conversion rate of 23.1% is the 11th best in Ligue 1 out of 65 players to have managed 20 or more shots this season and with his international career in its infancy, Bayo has the touch of scorer to help Guinea to qualify for the knockout stages of the CAN. .

Pape Sarr – Senegal

Pope Matar Sarr

Tottenham supporters are expected to keep a close watch on Pape Sarr when Senegal launch their AFCON campaign on Monday. The teenager moved to Spurs last summer but was immediately loaned to Metz in order to get regular actions to help his development. The 19-year-old hasn’t really drawn the attention as some Spurs fans might have hoped in Ligue 1, but neither did Metz, 18th. There is stiff competition for a starting place in a crowded Senegalese midfield, but Sarr could prove to be Aliou Cissé’s ace when the going gets tough for the Teranga Lions.

Kamaldeen Sulemana – Ghana

Kamaldeen Sulemana

Rennes have a knack for recruiting exciting wingers and Kamaldeen Sulemana is no exception. After Ousmane Dembele, Ismaila Sarr and Raphinha, Sulemana was a revelation in Ligue 1, even if her place in the Rennes XI was threatened before the French winter break.

Dribbling machine, the teenager performs more dribbles every 90 (4.8) than any other player in the French first division this quarter. Ghana have some quality staff in the final third and Sulemana is bragging about the deception to ensure the Black Stars will prove to be more than a match for any opponent at CAN.

Sofiane Boufal – Morocco

Sofiane boufal

After a few mediocre seasons, Sofiane Boufal is enjoying a career resumption in Ligue 1.

Angers surpassed expectations in France with key Boufal for Gerald Baticle’s side having directly contributed to eight of their 26 goals scored, scoring five times. This season is already the 28-year-old’s most prolific since he scored 11 goals for Lille in 2015/16.

His rate of 3.5 successful dribbles in the sixth best in Ligue 1 this season and the defeat of Angers is a gain for Morocco. With Hakim Ziyech supervised by Vahid Halilhodzic for the CAN, Boufal is the man responsible for separating the defenses, whether through his eye for a defensive pass or by advancing with the ball at his feet.

Joe Aribo – Nigeria

Joe Aribo opened the scoring for Ibrox

With the Scottish Premiership on winter break for at least a week, Joe Aribo’s absence for CAN will not strike too hard for Rangers. Clearly, the decision to bring the break forward due to COVID-19 means the key midfielder will miss a handful of games, the Rangers have enough depth to cover the Nigerian’s absence. Aribo rank second in league goals (6) and third in assists (3) by all Gers players this season, and Nigeria are hoping they can transfer that goal threat to the international stage, starting by the successful meeting with Egypt next week.

Youcef Atal – Algeria

Youcef Atal

With a score of 7.66, Youcef Atal was the player of the 2019 CAN tournament. A string of injuries means the Algerian has had no real chance to build on a reputation that looms large. ‘has seen the competition take by storm, for the time being. the 25-year-old has been impressive for Nice this season and enters the tournament in good form. His 2.5-for-90 steals rank among Ligue 1’s top 10 players and his commendable reading of the game should be key as the Fennec Foxes look to defend their 2019 crown.

Franck Kessie – Ivory Coast

Franck Kessie

Ivory Coast are one of the favorites to clinch international glory and with Franck Kessie operating in a midfielder that includes premium stars in the mold of Jean Michael Seri and Ibrahim Sangare, the Elephants will imagine their chances. to win the CAN. Kessie, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham, has been superb for AC Milan this season, scoring five times for the Serie A title contenders; only Zlatan Ibrahimovic (7) scored more. In-depth goal threat, AC Milan will miss the 25-year-old, but Côte d’Ivoire hope that trait will see them crowned CAN champions for the third time next month.

Ellyes Skhiri – Tunisia

Ellyes Skhiri

Despite having scored three goals for FC Cologne this season, Ellyes Skhiri’s main strength has always been his ability to win the ball. Three tackles for 90 is the sixth best in the Bundesliga this season, while 2.2 interceptions for 90 rank among the top 20 players in the division. Anchor of the Tunisian midfielder, the opponents will struggle to gain the upper hand over the Carthage Eagles with Skhiri sponging in front of the defense.

Amadou Haidara – Mali

Amadou Haidara

Manchester United supporters will pay particular attention to Mali at CAN. The Premier League’s power has been linked with a move by RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara in an attempt to correct their midfield issues. A commendable ball winner, Haidara is averaging 1.3 tackles for 90 for RB Leipzig this season, while a modest 72.2% dribbling success rate, is the ninth-best of 118 players to attempt 15 dribbles. or more in the Bundesliga. this season, highlights a force to advance in possession wisely. As such, Mali is not to be underestimated during the competition.

Sky Sports to broadcast CAN live

The Africa Cup of Nations tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in January and February.

The tournament, originally scheduled for June and July 2021, will be played in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6, 2022, with Sky Sports broadcasting all 52 matches live.

Twenty-four teams will participate, the kickoff being given on January 9 when Cameroon will host Burkina Faso in Yaoundé, before culminating in the final on February 6 in the capital.


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