Sunday, 23rd January 2022
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AFCON 2021: Top players who are set to miss out

In just about a month, the delayed 2021 African Cup of Nation (AFCON) finals will be here and qualified nations already know their first round opponents..

In just about a month, the delayed 2021 African Cup of Nation (AFCON) finals will be here and qualified nations already know their first round opponents and who they could possibly face in the knockout round. While nations prepare for the competition, there are a number of teams resigned to fate, with their top stars set to miss out with injury.
It is the biggest wish for any player to feature in such tournaments, and without doubt there will be hard work put in behind the scenes by players and their handlers to try and get them ready for this competition.

The effort to have the best players available is not only for the players and their handlers, even the federations and marketers wish to have the best, just to boost the brand and quality of the competition.

In the gaming world, a lot is also dependent on availability of key players and the African Cup of Nations predictions on SportyTrader will also bank on this as one of the basis for previewing the matches at the topmost competition in Africa. So, who are some of the top players in danger of missing out?

Victor Osimhen: The Nigerian star has been easily identifiable in Napoli’s resurgence this season. He has also done well for Nigeria and whenever the international call was made, he has been sure to get a place in the squad. After settling well in and looking set to lead Napoli to challenge for honors, he suffered a broken cheekbone in the game against Inter Milan. Doctors say he would be out for the rest of 2021, and the same could filter into 2022, after having surgery.

Krepin Diatta:
After making his debut at the 2019 AFCON, Krepin Diatta’s rise has been meteoric. He completed the move to AS Monaco right after that and was hoping for another good showing after helping Senegal reach the final in 2019. That dream may just have been ended by an anterior cruciate ligament injury while on club duty. With the nature of injury, Diatta is already ruled out.

Youssef en-Neysri:
Moroccan star En-Neysri has a thigh muscle strain that has seen him miss a number of Sevilla’s matches in La Liga. It is estimated that he will be fully healed towards the end of January 2022 or early February. Should it come to pass, it means the striker is officially ruled out of the continental showpiece.

Gervinho: Ivorian legend Gervinho is set to miss what would have been his final international tournament. The 34-year old is on his first season with Turkish high fliers Trabznspor but in October he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury. He isn’t expected to heal fully in time for the competition and with Ivory Coast missing out on the 2022 World Cup, he may never make another appearance at a major competition.

Mohamed Kudus:
Ghana are also crossing fingers to have Ajax midfielder Mohamed Kudus available for AFCON 2021. The midfielder suffered a rib injury during Ghana’s World Cup qualification game against South Africa and his club has reported that he will be unavailable for the rest of the year. He basically has a month to recover but according to his team, it is a serious injury, which could be a hint that he may not be allowed to leave for AFCON 2021.

AFCON Groupings:
Group A: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde and Ethiopia.
Group B: Guinea, Malawi, Senegal and Zimbabwe.
Group C: Comoros, Gabon, Ghana, and Morocco.
Group D: Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria and Sudan.
Group E: Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Group F: Gambia, Mali, Mauritania and Tunisia.