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African to the world: Continent stars to watch in Europe this weekend



It’s another weekend of football as European leagues resume hostilities this weekend and as usual, a couple of African soccer stars will be involved for their different clubsides.

From the English Premier League to the German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, the French Ligue 1 and several leagues across Europe, African players have been doing tremendous things for their clubs.

This weekend, as usual, Africannewswatch takes a look at some of the continent’s talents who are expected to feature for their clubs around the world.

Mohamed Salah – Liverpool

Mohamed Salah and his Liverpool mates were at the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United on Monday night at Old Trafford, but against a Bournemouth team still trying to find their rhythm, the Reds are expected to come our victorious.

Salah got the consolation goal against Man U bringing his total to two goals so far and is poised to continue in that vein as Bournemouth comes calling and could find more joy as their opponents have shipped seven goals in their last two matches against Arsenal and Manchester City.

Liverpool are winless in three matches and Jurgen Klopp’s men are poised to correct that on Saturday afternoon to keep tabs on the early frontrunners.

Thomas Partey – Arsenal

After an injury plagued 2021/2022 EPL season, Ghanian midfielder, Thomas Partey has gradually come into the element that made Arsenal fork out the cash to sign him from Athletico Madrid.

Partey is now the first name on the Gunners team sheet and barring any unforeseen circumstances, will also take to the pitch when Fulham come calling at the Emirate Stadium for Saturday’s London derby.

Arsenal/Ghana midfield star, Thomas Partey (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal/Ghana midfield star, Thomas Partey (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Partey has been an integral part of the Arsenal team and has been instrumental for the North Londoners perfect start to the season as Mikel Arteta’s team remains the only side with a perfect record after winning their first three matches.

Joe Aribo – Southampton

Nigerian midfield grafter, Joe Aribo, has played himself into the Southampton reckoning as he helped the Saints to their first three points with victory at Leicester City last weekend.

He should be in line to play a part when Manchester United come calling though it is left to be seen if that part will be from the start or coming off the bench.

Erik ten Hag’s men who are still basking in the euphoria of their first win over Liverpool on Monday will be in a buoyant mood but will Aribo and co cut them to size?

Joe Aribo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Joe Aribo (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Saints have proved to be a boggie team for the Red Devils in the past and that could continue on Saturday.

Edouard Mendy – Chelsea

Senegal Afcon winner, Edouard Mendy, had an embarrassing moment to forget in Chelsea’s 3-0 defear at the hands of Leeds United at Elland Road when he practically handed the first goal to Leeds on a platter of gold.

But Mendy is still Thomas Tuchel’s number one and is expected to be in the starting line up for the visit of out of sorts Leicester City at the Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea and Senegal goalkeeper, Eduard Mendy (Photo Credit: Chelsea FC)

Chelsea and Senegal goalkeeper, Eduard Mendy (Photo Credit: Chelsea FC)

And as expected, he should be able to redeem his image with a response worthy of one of the best shot stoppers in Africa.

Chelsea may have endured a mixed bag since the resumption of the new season but with the trust of the manager, Mendy should be able to prove his doubters wrong with a positive result.

Sadio Mane – Bayern Munich

While Liverpool is struggling to make an early impact in the EPL, Senegal forward Sadio Mané who left them for Bayern Munich in the transfer window, is thriving in the German Bundesliga.

Last time out, he was in rampant mood as he bagged a brace in Bayern’s 7-0 thumping of FC Bochum to take his goals tally to three in rural three weeks old season.

Sadio Mané has taken to life in Bayern Munich (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Sadio Mané has taken to life in Bayern Munich (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Senegal star should be in the line up when the Bavarians welcome Borussia Monchengladbach in gameweek four on Saturday and is expected to lead the line.

Achraf Hakimi – PSG

Moroccan wingback, Achraf Hakimi, has been one the few African shining lights in the French Ligue 1 as he has been in impressive form for Paris Saint-Germain so far in the season.

The Morocco international was on song last time out when PSG annihilated Lillw 7-1 and is poised to once again, be an integral part of the team and Sunday for the visit of Monaco.

Wilfred Ndidi – Leicester City

After recovering from a long term injury, Nigerian defensive midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi is in line to make the starting line up when Leicester City visit the Stamford Bridge to try to reverse its winless start to the season.

Wilfred Ndidi will be massive for Leicester City against Chelsea (Photo Credit: Leicester City FC)

Wilfred Ndidi will be massive for Leicester City against Chelsea (Photo Credit: Leicester City FC)

Ndidi’s team mates, Kelechi Iheanacho and Zambian striker Patson Daka, should be on the bench as usual and could play cameo roles as Brendan Rodgers hopes to change the fortunes of his floundering squad.

Victor Osimhen – Napoli

Nigeria’s Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen, has had a productive session so far in the Italian Serie A with two goals so far.

With Luciano Spalletti’s men travelling to Fiorentina in gameweek three, Napoli is looking to make it three wins in three with a third straight win.

Osimhen is unarguably one of the hottest strikers in Italy at the moment as is likely to get the nod to lead the line for the Partenopei’s.


Onana emerges highest-rated EPL goalkeeper



Despite a string of uninspiring performances in his early days in the English Premier League, Cameroon and Manchester United goalkeeper, Andre Onana has been named the highest-rated shot stopper in the league.

The turnaround for the former Inter Milan keeper came after his club stormed to five wins in six matches, with the once-vilified Onana keeping clean sheets in all the games.

The Cameroon shot-stopper, who had faced heavy criticism from fans of the club and English pundits after a shaky start to life, emerged the league’s highest-rated goalkeeper, in a latest statistics from Whoscored.

According to Whoscored, the 24-year-old’s five clean sheets in 13 matches for United surpasses those of any other goalkeeper in the EPL.

The statistics also showed that Onana had made some incredibly saves, with his save percentage at 76.1, just a little lower than Liverpool goalkeeper, Alisson Becker’s, who is the only keeper with a better rate.

However, combined stats gave Onana an overall rating of 6.96, the highest in the Premier League, with Tottenham’s Gugliemo Vicario coming in second with 6.92, while Becker completes the top three with a rating of 6.84.

Here is a breakdown of Onana’s key stats so far this season in the EPL:

Clean sheets – 5

Save percentage – 76.1

Saves per 90 – 3.9

Goals prevented – 2.7

Goals conceded – 16

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Namibia qualifies for 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup



Namibia has qualified for the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup which will hold in United States and the West Indies, after a top-two guaranteed finish in the African qualifiers with a game to spare.

The Eagles triumphed over Tanzania 58-run in Windhoek and now sit on top of the table with five wins from five matches after previously defeating Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.

Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe still remain in contention to secure second spot in the table and join Namibia at the T20 World Cup next year, with Uganda facing east African rivals, Kenya on Wednesday.

The qualification of Namibia for next year’s 20-team tournament will be the country’s third consecutive appearance at the T20 World Cup, which makes them one of the most successful African teams in the Championship.

The Eagles reached the Super 12 stage as first-time qualifiers in the UAE in 2021 but however suffered a first round group-stage exit in Australia last year.

Speaking on the feat, Rudie van Vuuren, president of Cricket Namibia, said it was a testimony to the dedication of the players and coaching crew.

“We’re very proud of the boys, of Pierre de Bruyn and his coaching team and also Gerhard Erasmus, the captain of the team,” Van Vuuren told BBC Sport Africa.

“The boys played professional cricket throughout, really a high standard of cricket. And you can see the fact that we have a professional set-up eventually makes the difference in this kind of tournament.

“It is exciting times for Namibia. We have a strong pipeline developing. We look forward to the T20 World Cup and then, building on that, the Under-19 World Cup in 2026 and obviously the 50-over World Cup in 2027”, he added.

Namibia will co-host the Cricket World Cup in 2027 alongside South Africa and Zimbabwe, and will finish their group campaign against Nigeria on Thursday.

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