AFCON Qualifiers - Players to Watch

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Players to Watch


Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

The last round of AFCON qualifying did not go so well for Mohamed Salah when the Pharaohs forward picked up COVID-19. However, Salah is back to try and put a tough time for Liverpool behind him and give Egypt the win needed to send his side to Cameroon in January.

Kenya v Egypt is live for free on beIN XTRA at 12PM ET on Thursday, March 25. Egypt vs. Comoros is live on beIN SPORTS on Monday, March 29 at 12PM ET


Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco)

Morocco are another giant of African soccer that still has business to attend to in AFCON 2021 qualifying. Fortunately the side that has only won the competition once back in 1976 has one of Europe's hottest strikers to lead the way - Youssef En-Nesyri.

The 23-year-old Sevilla forward has racked up 15 goals in LaLiga this season, and an impressive six in Sevilla's Champions League run including two against Borussia Dortmund in their Last-16 match-up. 

Mauritania vs. Morocco is live on beIN SPORTS at 3PM ET on Friday, March 26


Samuel Chukwueze (Nigeria)

The Villarreal winger played his part with a goal in the great game of AFCON qualifying so far - the 4-4 epic when Nigeria went 4-0 up to eventually draw 4-4 against Sierra Leone. However, it's this result which helps to explain why the Super Eagles still haven't cliched their berth in AFCON 2021.

Chukwueze's star is growing rapidly in LaLiga with Villarreal and he could form quite the partnership up front with Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho and Victor Osimhen of Napoli. 

Benin vs. Nigeria is live on beIN SPORTS on Saturday, March 27 at 12PM ET.

The action gets underway on Wednesday, March 24 at 9AM ET for free on beIN XTRA with a Group B second vs. first clash between Uganda vs. Burkina Faso where a win could put either team through to AFCON 2021.  


When is Africa Cup of Nations 2021?


The quick answer is January 2022. Along with a host of other major sporting events, the impacts of the COVID-19 virus saw AFCON 2021 move to 2022 with the 24-team tournament being shifted forward one year to take place next January in Cameroon. 


Where are we at with qualifying?


The final two match days from the total of six are taking place from Wednesday, March 24 through to Tuesday, March 30 across the beIN SPORTS network. Cameroon (as hosts) have qualified already along with Mali, Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia. 

However, this does leave the likes of Ghana, Morocco, Egypt, Ivory Coast and Nigeria still to book a place, with all 12 groups having something to play for.


How has COVID-19 affected the week?


The decision from the French League to prevent any players from leaving the European Union due to COVID quarantine periods required in France had a huge impact on the francophone sides in Africa. Senegal in particular were impacted with the loss of 12 players. 

There are other issues such as restricted travel to some countries such as South Africa seeing players from specific nations like England being unable to attend certain matches, but the line-up is strong as no-one wants to miss out on Africa's most important soccer competition. 


AFCON Qualification on beIN SPORTS


Wednesday, March 24

9:00AM ET Uganda vs. Burkina Faso beIN SPORTS
9:00AM ET Sao Tome vs. Sudan Connect 4


Thursday, March 25

12:00PM ET Kenya vs. Egypt beIN XTRA
12:00PM ET South Africa vs. Ghana beIN SPORTS
12:00PM ET Gabon vs. DR Congo Connect 4
3:00PM ET Libya vs. Tunisia beIN XTRA
3:00PM ET Zambia vs. Algeria beIN SPORTS


Friday, March 26

12:00PM ET Congo vs. Senegal beIN SPORTS
3:00PM ET Mauritania vs. Morocco beIN SPORTS