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African All Stars

Africans to watch this weekend

10:26 SAST 2022/09/02
Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2022-23
GOAL highlights the players from the continent expected to star for their clubs across Europe’s major leagues

Most of Europe’s major leagues have played five or more matches heading into this weekend with some upsets witnessed in the past week.

There are two major matches in the Premier League this weekend, starting with Saturday’s early kick-off where Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool take on Alex Iwobi’s Everton at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby, before Manchester United host Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday.

In France, Moses Simon’s Nantes face Achraf Hakimi’s Paris Saint-Germain, who are out to continue their impressive run as Sadio Mane’s Bayern Munich seek a return to winning ways away to Union Berlin following last week’s disappointing draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.

  • Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2022-23

    Mohamed Salah

    Liverpool have scored 11 goals in their last two matches against Bournemouth and Newcastle United but Salah has surprisingly not gotten one in the back of the net over that period.

    The Egyptian scored his now customary season-opening goal against Fulham before grabbing a late consolation in their 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on matchday three but has been unable to score since, even when Liverpool thrashed Bournemouth 9-0 before edging Newcastle 2-1 on Wednesday.

    That will not worry Jurgen Klopp heading into this weekend’s derby as long as Liverpool win but Salah, who provided assists for both goals against Newcastle, will hope to get on the scoresheet against their local rivals.

    Salah has four goals in seven games against Everton and Frank Lampard’s struggling side might just be the perfect opponent for last season’s top scorer to find his scoring boots again.

  • Idrissa Gueye Everton 2022-23

    Idrissa Gueye

    The Senegal midfielder has returned to Everton after sealing a two-year deal following three years with French giants Paris Saint-German in what will be a boost for Lampard.

    Everton have looked lightweight in the opening five games of the season and are hovering around the relegation zone, just like last season, after recording three draws and two defeats. Gueye is just what they need and he is expected to give them steel in midfield and make them harder to beat.

    There is no better opponent to unleash Gueye than Liverpool, a team he knows too well from his first spell at Everton (2016-2019), but it remains to be seen if he will start, having missed PSG’s last game with a knock.

  • Hakim Ziyech Chelsea 2022-23

    Hakim Ziyech

    The Moroccan winger did not get the move away from Chelsea that he was looking for after months of speculation, meaning he will stay in West London for at least six more months.

    Ziyech played 90 minutes in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss away to Southampton and it will be interesting to see if Thomas Tuchel saw enough to hand him another start against London rivals West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

    Ziyech has been keen for a move away from Chelsea to get regular playing time ahead of the World Cup but with Chelsea not enjoying a great start to the season, a goal or assist against the Hammers might just nail down place in the team for him.

  • Morocco Achraf Hakimi of PSG.

    Achraf Hakimi

    With Nigeria forward Simon out with an injury, Hakimi is the African to look out for as Nantes take on PSG on Saturday in a game the Ligue 1 champions are favourites to win.

    Hakimi has been a mainstay in the team, scoring and assisting, having been deployed in his favoured wing-back role by Christophe Galtier and that will likely be the case again.

    PSG are unbeaten, winning four and drawing once while Nantes have only win. With Hakimi managing two goals and an assist so far this season, another goal involvement is highly likely from the Moroccan on Saturday.

  • Sadio Mane Bayern Munich 2022-23

    Sadio Mane

    Senegal forward Mane managed 62 minutes and had a goal ruled out last weekend as Bayern Munich drew 1-1 with Gladbach but he has the chance to make amends away to Union Berlin on Saturday.

    Mane will surely start in the German capital as the Bavarian giants look to return to the familiar route of winning and having netted three goals in four games, he will be favoured to find another one given the numerous chances Bayern create.

    Union are the early season pacesetters, as they have an identical record as Bayern, with three wins and draw, and it will be interesting to see if Mane can cause them more problems or if they will create chaos for their visitors.

  • Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey and Ghana.

    Thomas Partey

    Arsenal’s first choice midfielder Partey will have to wait for a late fitness test to determine whether he will play a part in Sunday’s big clash against United at Old Trafford.

    Partey was ruled out of the victories against Fulham and Aston Villa after picking up a recurring thigh problem, although it was later revealed that he was only left out for precautionary measures.

    The Ghanaian will continue to be assessed with Mikel Arteta stating that his injury is “hopefully not as bad” as his previous one last season, and there are hopes that he will shake off the problem to play a part on Sunday.