The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) championships has been highlighted by the task of Guinea national team winning the trophy and failure to do so will have questions of reimbursing all the money invested in by the government as ordered by the Guinea interim head of state Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.
Will Guinea be able to make it out of group B beating African giants of Senegal, Malawi and Zimbabwe, we take an inside look into group B teams.
Guinea – The Syli national team tasked with winning the trophy.
The Guinea national team face a huge task of winning the trophy as directed by their head of state but they will miss the services of injured player Antoine Conte who just switched allegiance from being a French player.
The squad under Kaba Diawara is boosted by Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita as they aim to surpass what they achieved in the 2019 edition of being knocked out of the tournament in the round of last 16 by Africa’s number one Algeria.
Here is the Full 27 man squad for Guinea
Goalkeepers: Aly Keita (Ostersund, Sweden), Ibrahima Kone (Hibernians, Malta), Moussa Camara (Horoya, Guinea).
Defenders: Saidou Sow (St Etienne, France), Ibrahima Conte (Niort, France), Florentin Pogba (Sochaux, France), Ousmane Kante (Paris FC, France), Mohamed Aly Camara (Young Boys, Switzerland), Pa Konate (Botev Plovdiv, Bulgaria), Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse, France), Fode Camara (Horoya, Guinea), Gaoussou Yousouf Siby (Wakrya, Guinea), Mikael Dyrestam (Sarpsborg 08, Norway).
Midfielders: Amadou Diawara (Roma, Italy), Ibrahima Cisse (Seriang, Belgium), Mory Konate (Sint-Truidense, Belgium), Ibrahima Sory Conte (Bnei Sakhnin, Israel), Ilaix Moriba (RB Leipzig), Mamadou Kane (Neftci, Azerbaijan), Morlaye Sylla (Horoya, Guinea), Aguibou Camara (Olympiacos, Greece), Naby Keita (Liverpool, England).
Forwards: Seydouba Soumah (Kuwait SC, Kuwait), Morgan Guilavogui (Paris FC, France), Mamadou Diallo (Grenoble, France), Jose Kante (Kairat, Kazakhstan), Mohamed Bayo (Clermont France), Sory Kaba (OH Leuven, Belgium).
Head coach – Kaba Diawara
Senegal – The Teranga Lions aiming for Gold.
The Teranga Lions under coach Aliou Cisse have set their eyes on the AFCON trophy having lost the 2019 edition to Algeria after registering brilliant performances throught the tournament.
Aliou Cisse has expressed his desire to win AFCON having lost two finals, he lost the 2002 edition to Cameroon as player when he missed the penalty and also losing to Algeria in 2019 as a coach and this will be his third AFCON tournament as head coach for Senegal.
“I want this AFCON. I have been running after it since 1999,” said Cisse as he was addressing the press.
Senegal have geared up their preparations ahead of the tournament with a camp in East African country Rwanda and they have some friendlies with them.
Here is the Senegal squad for AFCON
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea, England), Alfred Gomis (Rennes, France), Sény Dieng (Queens Park Rangers, England)
Defenders: Bouna Sarr (Bayern Munich, Germany), Saliou Ciss (Nancy, France), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Pape Abou Cissé (Olympiacos, Greece), Abdou Diallo (PSG, France), Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna, Italy), Abdoulaye Seck (Royal Antwerp, Belgium), Fodé Ballo-Touré (Milan, Italy), Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace, England)
Midfielders: Pape Matar Sarr (FC Metz, France), Pape Gueye (Marseille, France), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City, England), Idrissa Gana Gueye (PSG, France), Moustapha Name (Paris FC, France), Mamadou Loum Ndiaye (Deportivo Alaves, Spain), Joseph Lopy (Sochaux, France)
Forwards: Sadio Mané (Liverpool, England), Ismaila Sarr (Watford, England), Bamba Dieng (Marseille, France), Keita Baldé (Cagliari, Italy), Habib Diallo (Strasbourg, France), Boulaye Dia (Villareal, Spain), Famara Diédhiou (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Mame Baba Thiam (Kayserispor, Turkey).
Head Coach – Aliou Cisse
Malawi – The Flames set to burn high in West lands.
Malawi national team coach Meke Mwase has named a 30 man provisional squad and they are to cam in Saudi Arabia for ten days before setting off to Cameroon for the final tournament.
The flames will hold friendly matches with Mali and Comoros in Saudi Arabia and also have test games the local league teams as they prepare to name the final squad to AFCON.
The 30 man provisional squad
Ernest Kakhobwe (Nyasa Big Bullets), William Thole (Be Forward Wanderers), Charles Thom (Silver Strikers
Limbikani Mzava (Amazulu) Dennis Chembezi (Polokwane City) Nickson Mwase, Mark Fodya (Silver Strikers), Sankhani Mkandawire, Gomezgani Chirwa (Nyasa Big Bullets), Lawrence Chaziya (Civo Sporting), Paul Ndlobvu (MAFCO), Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi (Be Forwards Wanderers)
John Banda (UD Songo), Charles Petro (Sheriff Tiraspol) Chimwemwe Idana (Nyasa Big Bullets) Chikoti Chirwa (Red Lions), Micium Mhone (Blue Eagles) Gerald Phiri Junior (Al Hillal), Robin Ngalande (St George), Yamikani Chester (Be Forward Wanderers) Schumacher Kuwali (UD Songo), Fransisco Madinga (FC Dilla Gori), Peter Banda (Simba Sporting Club), Zebron Kalima (Silver Strikers)
Richard Mbulu (Baroka FC), Khuda Muyaba (Polokwane City), Henry Kumwenda (Butler Bulldogs) Gabadinho Mhango (Orlando Pirates, Stain Davie (Silver Strikers)
Zimbabwe – The Warriors out to punch above weight
The warriors of Zimbabwe face huge difficulties in their preparations for the 2021 AFCON tournament as they are yet to know on their fate of a FIFA ban.
The Sports Recreation Commission (SRC) which was formed by the government of Zimbabwe intervened in sports by suspending the elected Zimbabwe Football Association (ZiFA) which breaks the rules and regulations of government intervention set up by FIFA and were given till 3rd January to restore the elected ZiFA committee.
Despite the fears of a FIFA ban, the interim Zimbabwe head coach Norman Mapeza named his final squad for AFCON bit he will miss the services of Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba out with injury and Khama Brilliant who announced his retirement from national team duty a few months ago.
The warriors squad for AFCON
Goalkeepers: Petros Mhari (FC Platinum, Zimbabwe), Martin Mapisa (FC Zamora, Spain), Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars, South Africa).
Defenders: Peter Muduwa (Highlanders, Zimbabwe), Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi, Georgia), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana, Zambia), Jordan Zemura (Bournemouth, England), Godknows Muriwa (Dynamos, Zimbabwe), Gerald Takwara (Venda Football Academy, South Africa), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo, USA), Bruce Kangwa (Azam, Tanzania), Onismor Bhasera (SuperSport United, South Africa).
Midfielders: Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum, Zimbabwe), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United, Zambia), Never Tigere (Azam, Tanzania), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United, South Africa), Ishmael Wadi (JDR Stars, South Africa), Kundai Benyu (Vestri, Iceland).
Forwards: Admiral Muskwe (Luton Town, England), Prince Dube (Azam, Tanzania), David Moyo (Hamilton Academical, Scotland), Knowledge Musona (Al Tai, Saudi Arabia), Tinotenda Kadewere (Lyon, France).
Head coach – Norman Mapeza