THE group stage of this year’s Afcon is coming to an end with some massive teams on the brink of elimination.
加纳 vs 尼日利亚, Morocco and hosts Cameroon are the only three teams definitely through to the knockout stage.
Zimbabwe and Mauritania have been eliminated.
But every other nation is still at risk of being KO’d.
考虑到这一点, we take a look at the five biggest Premier League stars just one game away from potentially returning to their clubs.
托马斯·帕蒂 – 兵工厂
AMONG the pre-tournament favourites, Ghana have endured a horror tournament so far.
After losing their opener at the hands of Morocco, they slipped to a 1-1 draw against Gabon.
With just one point from their two games, Ghana sit third – above only Comoros, their final group-stage opponents.
仅有的 四 of the six third-placed finishers make the knockout stage – and Ghana are currently fifth in that mini-league.
That would be a major boost for the short-handed Gunners amid their Covid, injury and Afcon-enforced crisis.
Riyad Mahrez – 曼城
ALGERIA are in an even worse state than Ghana.
Their loss against Equatorial Guinea following a goalless draw against Sierra Leone to kick-off the tournament, the North African nation sit BOTTOM of their group.
And with group-toppers Ivory Coast their final game, Algeria are in very real danger of failing to make the knockout stages.
The ex-Leicester man has played both of Algeria’s group games so far and will need to do something special against Ivory Coast to even stand a chance of keeping their Afcon hopes alive.
穆罕默德·萨拉（Mohamed Salah） – 利物浦
EGYPT are another nation struggling to book their place in the knockout stages.
They lost their tournament opener against Nigeria, before snatching a late win over Guinea-Bissau.
Salah scored the winner in that game to fire his second in the group, with Sudan and Guinea-Bissau only on one point apiece.
然而, a defeat in their final game against Sudan could see them slip into third or even bottom of the table, should Nigeria also lose.
And that would mean Salah – who’s played in both matches – returning to boost 利物浦‘s chances of catching up with rampant City.
Mohamed Elneny – 兵工厂
SHOULD Egypt be KO’d in the group stage, another team to benefit would be Arsenal.
The Gunners are desperately short in midfield and the return of experienced Elneny – as well as Partey – would be invaluable.
Elneny has played both matches for Egypt in the tournament going into Wednesday’s group stage finale.
Said Benrahma – 西汉姆
ANOTHER big name on the brink of returning to Prem duty is Mahrez’s Algeria team-mate, Benrahma.
Algeria must wait until Thursday to discover their fate as they hope for a miracle to reach the last 16 of the tournament.
西汉姆 winger Benrahma played in the 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone but failed to feature in the Equatorial Guinea defeat.
Any more in danger?
ONLY five teams know their fate, with three teams (Cameroon, Morocco and Nigeria) definitely through and two (Mauritania and Zimbabwe) 出去.
That means the likes of Ivory Coast, Senegal and Guinea – despite being almost assured of a spot in the last 16 – are not yet safe.
The likes of Sadio Mane, 爱德华·门迪, Nicolas Pepe, Wilfried Zaha and Naby Keita could yet be on the next flight home.
Tunisia, including Manchester United youngster Hannibal Mejbri and Arsenal ace Omar Rekik, join Mali – featuring in-demand Brighton star Yves Bissouma – are just two other nations featuring big Prem names still at risk.
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