• Monday, 16 January 2012

    Coupe d'Afrique des Nations previews - group B

    Group A got a going over here and we continue now in highly predictable, orthodox fashion by running the rule over group B next.

    Nickname: Sable Antelopes. The critically endangered Giant Sable Antelope is native to Angola. That's all we got.

    Former German u21 international Nando Rafael is included by Lito Vidigal, though doesn't yet have FIFA permission to use him. Rafael fled Angola's civil war as a child and needs to be granted change of international status before being able to play. With or without him, they look a bit tasty up front, less so at the back.

    Goalkeepers: Carlos (unattached), Hugo (Kabuscorp), Wilson (Primeiro Agosto),
    Defenders: Amaro (Primeiro Agosto), Dani Massunguna (Primeiro Agosto), Kali (Primeiro Agosto), Marco Airosa (AEL Limassol, Cyprus), Mingo Bille (Primeiro Agosto), Zuela (Atromitos, Greece)
    Midfielders: Andre Makanga (Al Jahra, Kuwait), Dede (AEL Limassol, Cyprus), Gilberto (Lierse, Belgium), Mabina (Petro Atletico), Miguel (Petro Atletico), Osorio (Recreativo Caala), Xara (Petro Atletico)
    Forwards: Djalma (FC Porto, Portugal), Flavio (Lierse, Belgium), Jose Pierre Vunguidica (Preussen Munster, Germany), Love (Petro Atletico), Manucho (Real Valladolid, Spain), Mateus Galiano (Nacional, Portugal), Nando Rafael (FC Augsburg, Germany)

    Burkina Faso
    Nickname: The Stallions. Either some MOR indie rock band like Foals or a tribute to Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

    Chelsea's 16-year old midfielder Bertrand Traoré and he's set to be the third-youngest player at the finals. He's named alongside his brother Alain of AJ Auxerre in France. Burkina Faso's participation was only confirmed after a protest from Namibia about the eligibility of Cameroon-born defender Hervé Zengué. They were cleared, but Zengué has failed to make the cut for the tournament.

    Goalkeepers: Daouda Diakité (KV Turnhout, Belgium), Moussa Germain Sanou (St Etienne, France), Adama Sawadogo (Missile, Gabon)
    Defenders: Ibrahim Gnanou (Alania Vladikavkaz, Russia), Bakary Koné (Olympique Lyon, France), Paul Koulibaly (Charleroi, Belgium), Saidou Mady Panandétiguiri (Valletta, Malta), Mamadou Tall (Persepolis, Iran)
    Midfielders: Wilfried Balima (Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova), Charles Kaboré (Olympique Marseille, France), Mahamadou Kéré (Konyaspor, Turkey), Mohamed Koffi (Petrojet, Egypt), Djakaridja Kone (Dynamo Bucharest, Romania), Jonathan Pitroipa (Stades Rennes, France), Florent Rouamba (Sheriff Tiraspol. Moldova), Bertrand Traoré (Chelsea, England)
    Forwards: Aristide Bancé (Samsunspor, Turkey), Moumouni Dagano (Al Khor, Qatar), Prejuce Nakoulma (Gornik Zabrze, Poland), Issiaka Ouédraogo (FC Admira Wacker Modling, Austria), Abdou Razak Traoré (Lechia Gdansk, Poland), Alain Traoré (AJ Auxerre, France), Narcisse Yameogo (AD Camacha, Portugal)

    Cote d'Ivoire
    Nickname: Elephants. Big, lumbering, physical specimens. A bit like Didier Drogba, but without the falling over.

    Another of the favourites, it's a strong Elephants squad named by Francois Zahoui. All the familiar names are there; Drogba, Tioté, the Touré boys, Kalou, Zokora, Gradel, Eboué... they just keep coming. They have underperformed in recent tournaments, but there can be no excuses with this squad.

    Goalkeepers: Barry Boubacar (Lokeren, Belgium), Gerrard Gnanahouan (Avranches, France), Daniel Yeboah (Dijon, France)
    Defenders: Siake Tiené (Paris St Germain, France), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart, Germany), Benjamin Angoua Brou (Valenciennes, France), Igor Lolo (FC Kuban Krasnodar, Russia), Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Emmanuel Eboué (Galatasaray, Turkey), Kolo Touré (Manchester City, England), Souleymane Bamba (Leicester City, England)
    Midfielders: Kafoumba Coulibaly (Nice, France), Jean-Jacques Gosso Gosso (Orduspor, Turkey), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover, Germany), Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United, England), Max Gradel (St Etienne, France), Yaya Touré (Manchester City, England)
    Forwards: Gervinho (Arsenal, England), Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Didier Drogba (Chelsea, England), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea, England), Wilfried Bony (Vitesse Arnhem, Netherlands), Abdul Kader Keita (Al Sadd, Qatar)

    Nickname: Nile Crocodiles. The longest crocodiles in the world.

    It's an entirely domestically-based squad - the only one at the finals - named by the Nile Crocodiles, so at least these boys know each other. The country hadn't split when the qualifying began, so this is the last time they'll appear as a single nation.

    Goalkeepers: Mouez Mohjob (Al Hilal), Bhaldien Mohammed (Al Merreikh), Akram Al Hadi (Al Merreikh)
    Defenders: Mosab Omar (Al Merreikh), Ngemaldien Abdullah (Al Merreikh), Ahmed Al Basha (Al Merreikh), Bala Jaber (Al Merreikh), Mowaia Bashir (Ittihad Madani), Siefaldien Ali (Al Hilal), Khaliefa Ahmed (Al Hilal)
    Midfielders: Hisam Mustaffa (Al Hilal), Baderaldien Aldoud (Al Merreikh), Faisal Musa (Al Merreikh), Amier Kamal (Al Merreikh), Nazer Hamed (Al Hilal), Mohamed Al Tahir (Al Hilal) Alaadine Yousif (Al Hilal), Mohammed Ahmed Bashir (Al Hilal), Mohammed Moussi (Al Nsoor)
    Forwards: Ramadan Alagab (Al Mourada), Mohammed Sheikh Eldin (Al Hasahesa), Eltaib Mudather (Al Hilal), Abdulrahman Hassan (Al Merreikh)

    Going through from this group: Cote d'Ivoire top by miles, Angola to join them in the second round as they look likely to score more than they concede, i.e. do a Newcastle.

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