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Top 10 players to watch out for in the 2019 AFCON

11 days left to the biggest football gathering in Africa. 24  teams, four Groups, and 36 games  to know those who would move over to the next round. The teams are in the last phase of their preparation and the players are beginning to define their goal for participating. As we continue our countdown to the African Cup of Nations starting on Saturday 22nd June, we look at the top 10 players to watch out for, who are most likely going to be the difference between victory and defeat for their teams.

10. Carolus Andriamatsinoro ( Madagascar)

Might not be among the popular players we all hear about and very little might have been heard of him, but for the Madagascar team, he’s Gold. Carolus was vital for them in making their first AFCON appearance. Plays for Al-Adalh in Saudi Arabian, the striker would be Key to taking Madagascar through this tournament.

9. Sadion Berahino (Burindi) 

 A very familiar figure in the English league having played for West Brom in the past and currently playing for stoke. The 25 year old striker endured a frustrating season, scoring just 3 goals in 23 matches. The tournament might be a chance of redemption for him to make something out the season. He would give his team a glimpse of hope, as they start their campaign against Nigeria.

8. Hakim Ziyech (morocco): 

Heavily linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, the midfielder would be pivotal for Morocco this AFCON. Direct with his dribbles and Lethal with his finish he scored a total of 21 goals for Ajax last season across all competitions, including 5 in the Champion League. He’s definitely one to look out for.

7.Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal):

 “He’s the best defender in the world and he’s worth 150 million pounds” those were the words of Carlo Anceloti about the center back and no doubts with interests from big clubs across Europe, he’s not far from the truth. But first he would have to see that Senegal doesn’t leave Egypt without the cup. He  managed a second place finish with Napoli in the Seria A, if he hopes for any silverware this season, it’s got to be now.

6. Wilfred Zaha (Ivory coast)

 10 goals in 34 games with crystal palace this season, Zaha has most likely seen off his time with the eagles amidst his transfer speculation. The AFCON would be his focus in the mean time.Ivoray coast are up against, Morocco, South africa and Namibia. it would be a difficult one and Zaha can as well inspire  team to victory and return the the cup they couldn't defend in 2017.

5.Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)

 it was another trophyless season for Arsenal and Iwobi  Being the subject of criticism from the fans for his style of play. He has chance to prove the doubts about his capabilities and hopefully  get his first international silverware.

4. Victor Wanyama(Kenya)
Kenya are in no doubt in one of the toughest groups of the tournament, having to deal with Algeria and Senegal. The Kenya skipper would lead the team in this uphill task and it would be fun to see what becomes of their fight. Who knows at the end they might emerge victorious.

3. Ryan Mahrez (Algeria) 

  Two times English premier League winner, and one time PFA player of the year, Mahrez is one of the most decorated Algerian players of all time at 28. An AFCON title would be an icing on his cake. Algeria are not lacking in good players, and Mahrez is an evidence, people would love to see what the EPL winner got up his sleeves for his country.

2. Mohamed Salah (Egypt) 

 all eyes would  be on Salah come 22nd, and the hope of all Egypt would be on him. They couldn’t get the best of him at the World cup last year cause of an injury he picked up before the tournament. but this year he has an opportunity to play another major tournament for them. He’s best would be required. Can he live up to the expectation??

1. Sadio Mane (Senegal)

 Mane, the engine behind the Liverpool’s attack that saw them winning the champions league, and narrowly missing out in the premier league. Senegal are the team with the best squad value, and if they win the cup, it would definitely revolve around this guy.

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