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African All Stars

International break: Africa's matches to watch

11:05 GMT+4 21/09/2022
Nigeria, Super Eagles
Nigeria’s visit to Algeria will provide a good test for the Super Eagles with Ghana vs Brazil the glamour fixture involving a team from the continent

Nigeria’s clash with Algeria in Oran headlines a number of high-profile friendly matches involving African countries during this international break.

The Super Eagles will visit Algeria next Tuesday as Jose Peseiro tests a host of players but that will come after Ghana have faced Brazil in France on Friday.

The Black Stars will use the match to prepare for the 2022 World Cup with the Samba Boys set to stretch them to the limit.

African champions Senegal have a date with Bolivia on Saturday while South Africa host Sierra Leone in another friendly encounter the same day.

  • Nigeria, Super Eagles

    Algeria vs Nigeria

    Nigeria coach Peseiro will seek to make it three straight wins when the Super Eagles take on the Desert Foxes in Oran next Tuesday.

    Nigeria beat Sierra Leone 2-1 before thrashing Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in June but the 2019 African champions will provide a different kind of test.

    Nigeria and Algeria have faced each other six times with the Super Eagles winning thrice while the North Africans have managed one victory, the win coming during the 2019 Afcon semi-final when they won 2-1 en route to the final.

    Both teams missed out on a ticket to the World Cup in disappointing fashion during the playoffs, Nigeria falling to Ghana on away goals, while Algeria were edged out courtesy of a last-minute goal by Cameroon, having looked like they had sealed their ticket to Qatar.

    For Peseiro, it will also be an opportunity to test a host of new players, especially upfront, where captain Ahmed Musa, Samuel Chukwueze and Emmanuel Dennis were the latest to withdraw from the squad due to injuries, joining long-term injury absentees Victor Osimhen and Umar Sadiq.

    That leaves Lorient striker Terem Moffi, Cremonese’s Cyriel Dessers, Nottingham Forest forward Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City to battle it out for a starting berth.

  • Ghana

    Brazil vs Ghana

    The glamour tie involving an African team, the five-time world champions will certainly provide Ghana with the one of their biggest tests in recent years during Friday’s meeting at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre, France.

    Brazil lined up with Thiago Silva and Marquinhos at centre-back with Alex Telles (left-back) and Eder Militao (left-back) as Casemiro and Lucas Paqueta were paired in central midfield while Neymar played just behind Richarlison as Vinicius Jr and Raphinha occupied the wings during Tuesday’s training.

    That might give Ghana coach Otto Addo a hint on how to line up or where to exploit as he prepares his charges for the high-profile encounter. Ghana have conceded five goals without reply in their three meetings with Brazil, losing 1-0 twice in 2007 and 2011 as well as 3-0 defeat in the 2006 World Cup at the Round of 16.

    While history favours the South Americans, Addo has a number of experienced players in his squad who can hold their own against the Selecao such as Thomas Partey, Daniel Amartey and the in-form Mohammed Kudus.

    He was also recently boosted by the availability of Inaki Williams, Tariq Lamptey and Mohammed Salisu who switched allegiance to the Black Stars in June.

    Ghana have Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in their World Cup group and after falling to Japan and Chile in their last two matches, Brazil should give them a taste of what to expect in Qatar.

  • Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos.

    South Africa vs Sierra Leone

    Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos can get some of his critics off his back with a victory against Sierra Leone in a friendly match at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

    Broos was criticised for his selection and tactics following South Africa’s 2-1 loss to Morocco in the 2023 Afcon qualifiers in June and had to apologise for saying the PSL’s lack of ‘quality’ was the reason for the national team’s struggles.

    The Belgian coach has included Mamelodi Sundowns talisman Themba Zwane into the squad that has several newcomers, among them Melusi Buthelezi (TS Galaxy), Sibongiseni Mthethwa (Stellenbosch FC), Luke le Roux (Varbergs), Cyprus-based Mihlali Mayambela and Orlando Pirates marksman Zakhele Lepasa.

    Zwane was among the players Broos was criticised for not including and he will hope the 33-year-old can replicate his good club form with national team against the Leone Stars, whose last game was a 2-1 loss to Nigeria three months ago.

  • Sadio Mane of Senegal during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

    Senegal vs Bolivia

    France will also host another top African nation this weekend as Senegal take on Bolivia at the Stade de la Source in Orleans, using the match as a tune up for the World Cup.

    Aliou Cisse’s men will face the Netherlands, the hosts and Ecuador in Group A in Qatar and the tactician has called up five new players, including Noah Fadiga, the son of Khalilou Fadiga, and Nottingham Forest defender Moussa Niakhate, as he looks to shake things up.

    Eight players from the victorious 2021 Afcon squad are missing due to injuries or a lack of game time with right-back Bouna Sarr out of the World Cup with a knee injury and left-back Saliou Ciss without a club. Spartak Moscow forward Keita Balde has also been handed a three-month ban due to a doping violation.

    However, with Chelsea pair Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly, Everton’s Idrissa Gueye, Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, Watford’s Imaila Sarr and Bayern Munich superstar Sadio Mane available, the Teranga Lions have enough to cause Bolivia problems.

    Mane became his country’s top scorer with 33 goals when he scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Benin before his penalty earned a 1-0 over Rwanda in the Afcon qualifiers in June and despite his goal drought at Bayern, he is still the man to watch against the South Americans.

  • Vincent Aboubakar Cameroon 2022

    Cameroon vs Uzbekistan

    The Indomitable Lions are under pressure to improve following their lacklustre 1-0 win over Burundi in June’s 2023 Afcon qualifiers when Fecafoot boss Samuel Eto’o read the riot act to the players for taking their positions in the team for granted.

    Rigobert Song’s men can start righting those wrongs against Uzbekistan in South Korea’s northern city of Goyang on Friday with Vincent Aboubakar set to captain the team.

    Song has handed Brentford forward Bryan Mbeumo his first call-up after he switched allegiance from France to Cameroon in August and he will likely make his debut against Uzbekistan.

    Cameroon are in a race against time to be ready for their return to the World Cup after missing the 2018 edition and have Switzerland, Serbia and Brazil to contend with in their group in Qatar.

  • Hakim Ziyech Morocco

    Morocco vs Chile

    Another World Cup-bound side taking on a South American team in this window, the Atlas Lions are under new management after former Wydad Casablanca coach Walid Regragui replaced Vahid Halilhodzic this month.

    Regragui’s first task was to repair strained relationships between players and the technical bench and that was seen from his selection of Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech, who had retired from international duty after falling out with Halilhodzic, and the inclusion Bayern Munich full-back Noussair Mazraoui.

    Morocco will also have a number of youngsters for Friday’s friendly against Chile in Barcelona in what will be the first meeting between the two countries as the North Africans prepare for the global tournament in Qatar where they have Croatia, Belgium and Canada in their group.