Preview, Kickoff timings and Venue: Egypt vs Togo, South Africa vs Angola, Cameroon vs Guinea
In a week that has seen some pretty exciting friendlies being played out among the elite of the African continent, the upcoming three games promise to be just as good.
Egypt vs Togo
The two sides have never met on an international stage, despite Togo’s recent rise to prominence on the continental stage will leave them confident when up against the mighty Pharoahs.
Emmanuel Adebayor remains the iconic figure around which the team rallies itself. The striker has been wandering about since being released by Crystal Palace in June last year. stanbul Baakehir have now signed up the colourful character, and it will be interesting to see how he fares today against Egypt – especially since he constantly ups his game for the big matches. Togo’s last game was a dour 0-0 against Libya just three days ago, and they will need to step up their game if they are to compete.
Togo Player to watch out for – Emmanual Adebayor, as always
Togo Form Guide: DLLDL
Egypt’s well-settled side are likely going to walk with this one, though, with Mohammed Salah in the form of his life – and Hector Cuper’s side are more than capable of playing some attractive attacking football when they choose to. If Cuper doesn’t ask his team to “park the bus” as is his wont (there is no reason he should) then this should make for one exciting match. Egypt’s last match was, of course, the brilliant AFCON final against Cameroon.
Egypt Player to watch out for – Mohammed Salah
Egypt Form Guide: LWWWW
Kickoff is at 4.00 PM GMT, (or 9.30 PM IST) from the Borg El Arab Stadium
South Africa vs Angola
South Africa and Angola have played each other four times, and the Rainbow nation have dominated their fellow southern African nation winning three times, most recently a 1-0 win in their World qualifying match held on 17 Nov 2015.
‘Bafana Bafana’ used to boast some household names back in the day – Steven Pienaar and Benny McCarthy spring to mind – but the new generation promises to be something exciting. After going through a major lull post hosting the landmark 2010 World Cup, they have been quietly impressive. Their most important victory came against Senegal in the World Cup qualifying match played on Nov 15 last year – a match that truly announced their return to the continental stage. Their last match, a friendly three days ago, saw them play brilliant football en-route to
South Africa Player to watch out for – Andile Jali
South Africa Form Guide: WDWDD
Angola, meanwhile, are struggling. Their last match was three days ago, where they were humbled 2-0 by Mozambique. Their current squad is almost entirely made up of domestically based players and is a very inexperienced one – the highest capped player is Ary Papel, their captain, with 26. Their lone bright spot has been 20 year old striker Jacinto Muondo Dala, known as Gelson, who plays for Sporting Club’s B side in Portugal. His record of 8 goals in 14 matches is something to be greatly admired in a side that is not exactly known for their offensive promise
Angola Player to watch out for – Gelson
Angola Form Guide: LLDLL
Kickoff is at 5.00 PM GMT (or 10.30 PM IST) from the Buffalo City Stadium
Cameroon vs Guinea
Cameroon and Guinea have played each other twice, the latest ended in a 1-1 draw in the 2015 AFCON, but their previous one ended with the Indomitable Lions running out 3-1 winners.
The champions of Africa are in tremendous form (they beat Tunisia 1-0 four days ago) – their AFCON win, with a bunch of unfancied players, has given them a massive boost of confidence and they are well and truly on their way back to their ‘90s and early ‘00s brilliance. Vincent Aboubakar’s scorching hot winner in the AFCON earlier this season has been the feather in the cap of what has been a wonderful career, and Guinea will have their hands full trying to contain him. The real danger though lies with the tricky Benjamin Moukandjo who lit up AFCON with his exploits on the left wing.
Cameroon Player to watch out for: Benjamin Moukandjo
Cameroon Form Guide: WWWWD
Guinea are an exciting young side bristling with talent across the pitch. They have the lesser-known Pogba brothers on either end; Florentin in defence, and Matthias in attack, while Naby Keita and Ibrahima Traore make for a deeply interesting midfield. Keita has been the stand-out player in a brilliant RB Leipzig outfit and will look to inspire his team against the best team on the continent. Their most recent outing, three days ago - like all the others, ended with a 2-2 draw against Gabon.
Guinea Player to watch out for: Naby Keita
Guinea Form Guide: DLLWD
Kickoff is at 6.00 PM GMT (or 11.30 PM IST) from the Edmond Machtens Stadium