Tag Archives: oldham

Phil Jagielka surgery blow for Everton

Everton defender Jagielka out for 'a couple of weeks' with badly gashed ankle

Andy Hampson, Press Association


18:12 GMT, 2 March 2013



23:38 GMT, 2 March 2013

Everton defender Phil Jagielka faces two weeks out witha badly gashed ankle, manager David Moyes confirmed.

The England international was injured in a challenge from Adam Le Fondre in the opening minutes of Everton's 3-1 win over Reading on Saturday at Goodison Park.

Agony: Everton's Phil Jagielka lies injured after challenge from Reading's Adam Le Fondre.

Agony: Everton's Phil Jagielka lies injured after challenge from Reading's Adam Le Fondre.

Jagielka will certainly hope to be
fit to take his place in England's squad for their next World Cup
qualifiers, against San Marino on March 22 and Montenegro four days

When pressed, Moyes later said Jagielka could be out for 'a couple of weeks, maybe'.

Le Fondre apologised after the game,
saying via Twitter: 'Fans were brilliant today! Shame about result!
Everton were class! Thoughts with jags never meant to catch him,caught
him late an apologised.'

Guilty: Nikica Jelavic is furious with Adam Le Fondre

Guilty: Nikica Jelavic is furious with Adam Le Fondre

Jagielka had to be immediately replaced,
and Moyes said: 'I genuinely haven't seen it again but I thought on the
pitch it didn't look good.

'Jagielka knew about it and it is a bad one. He will have surgery tonight to stitch up his ankle.

'It is a bad one because he is a key player for us.'

Moyes said he did not know how long Jagielka would be out but the 30-year-old must now be doubtful for next week's FA Cup quarter-final against Wigan.

The incident also reminded Moyes of some of the treatment goalkeeper Tim Howard received in the two previous cup matches against Oldham.

Howard was unable to face Reading after suffering a knock in the fifth-round replay win over over the League One side on Tuesday and was replaced by back-up Jan Mucha.

'I'm not happy with the challenges on the goalkeeper in the last two games that have put him out and I am not happy with the challenge today that puts Phil Jagielka out,' said the manager.

'I'm not one who minds challenges. I like a bit of that, if that's what it is.

'I don't mind robust challenges but not one that puts out arguably one of my best players.'

Howard's absence ended the American's run of 210 consecutive Premier League appearances.

Moyes said: 'I thought Jan did very well but it came about because the goalkeeper wasn't protected in the first game against Oldham and they felt it was right they could do that again in the second game.

'In the end the goalkeeper has been injured because of decisions which should have been deemed free-kicks long before.'

Reading manager Brian McDermott also said he did not get a clear view of Le Fondre's challenge on Jagielka but defended his player.

McDermott said: 'Adam Le Fondre is not that type of player, no way. He is a very honest type of player.

'I don't know what they are saying but there is no way Adam Le Fondre is a player that would `do` anybody.'

Martin Skrtel set to depart Liverpool after fall out with Brendan Rodgers

Skrtel looks set for Anfield departure after breakdown in relations with Rodgers

Dominic King


14:53 GMT, 25 February 2013



08:05 GMT, 26 February 2013

Martin Skrtel has paved the way for leaving Liverpool this summer after hinting at problems in his relationship with Brendan Rodgers.

The Liverpool defender has not started a Barclays Premier League game since being dropped following the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on January 13 and was criticised by Rodgers after an underwhelming performance against Oldham in the FA Cup.

Skrtel is currently sidelined with a knee injury but, even if he was fit, the Slovakia international does not believe he would be in Rodgers’ plans and says his situation will need to be looked at in the summer if he remains out of the side.

Tough times: Martin Skrtel has found his playing time limited at Liverpool

Tough times: Martin Skrtel has found his playing time limited at Liverpool

‘We have (spoken) but it is not
ideal,’ Skrtel told Denik Sport, when asked if he had received an
explanation for being out of the team. ‘He (Rodgers) told me something
on this, gave me some explanation, but it’s hard to tell if it was the
true reason he gave me.

‘I don’t think it was and think there
is something else behind it. Anyway, I’m not the type of player who
would be chasing the coach and be in his office all the time, asking for
explanations why I’m not playing. I have never done this, I’m not doing
it now and I never will be.

‘If the coach wants to tell me
something, he will summon me. The coach has his ideas about the line-up
and the question is if I would be in it if I was fit. I would say it’s
likelier I wouldn’t.’

Fall out: Skrtel is likely to leave Liverpool in the summer after being criticised by manager Brendan Rodgers (below)

Fall out: Skrtel is likely to leave Liverpool in the summer after being criticised by manager Brendan Rodgers (below)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool are set to be in the market
for at least two central defenders this summer – Rodgers watched
Feyenoord’s Stefan De Vrij on Sunday – given that Jamie Carragher is
retiring and it is likely that Sebastian Coates will be also be allowed
to leave in order to get first team football.

But Skrtel, who only signed a new
contract last summer, could also go and he has been linked with Anzhi
Machachkala and his old Zenit St Petersburg. He has refused to quell the
idea he will move on.

‘For three years at Liverpool I was
playing in almost every match and even in the national team I have
played a lot of games,’ said Skrtel. ‘I have had various thoughts but
certainly I’m not going to make any hot-blooded decision.’

End of an era: Jamie Carragher (right) will retire at the end of the season

End of an era: Jamie Carragher (right) will retire at the end of the season

Leeds v Tottenham live

FA CUP LIVE: Leeds v Tottenham – the fourth round action as it happens from Elland Road

Adam Shergold


04:00 GMT, 27 January 2013



13:49 GMT, 27 January 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the FA Cup as Leeds host Tottenham at Elland Road to continue the day's fourth round action. The Championship side will be hoping for an upset when they take on Spurs who are flying high in the Premier League in an attempt to secure a Champions League spot.

Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur

Leeds United: Ashdown, Byram, Peltier, Lees, White, Green, Brown, Austin, Varney, Diouf, McCormack

Substitutes: Kenny, Pearce, Tonge, Norris, Somma, Hall, Dawson

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Naughton, Caulker, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Parker, Lennon, Bale, Sigurdsson, Dempsey

Substitutes: Gomes, Walker, Townsend, Livermore, Dembele, Dawson, Obika

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

1.40pm It's been a wonderful weekend so far for upsets in the Cup. In case you missed any of yesterday's headlines:

Non-league Luton Town stunned Premier League Norwich City with a late Scott Rendell goal at Carrow Road.

Milton Keynes Dons destroyed a much-changed QPR at Loftus Road.

At Griffin Park, however, it's now level again as Fernando Torres makes it 2-2.

Whoever makes it through, you can see the draw for the fifth round live here on Mail Online shortly before 6pm – after the Oldham Athletic v Liverpool match at Boundary Park.

1.35pm While there may be a seismic upset at Griffin Park, Tottenham appear very confident in their belief that Premier League class will prevail at Elland Road.

Michael Dawson, on the bench today, is already dreaming of another Wembley appearance, while former Spurs favourite Steffan Freund stuck the boot in, saying Spurs will never go bankrupt and tumble to the third tier like Leeds did.

1.30pm Brentford have just re-taken the lead against Chelsea, courtesy of a Harry Forrester penalty. You can follow the closing stages here.

1.20pm Stat pack: These two famous old clubs have met on five occasions in the FA Cup before today, with Leeds winning just one of them (a sixth round tie in 1972, when they went on to win the Cup).

The most recent meeting was in 2010, also in the fourth round, when Leeds earned a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane (YouTube highlights), only for Spurs to beat them 3-1 in the replay – Jermain Defoe scoring a hat-trick.

Spurs have kept three clean sheets in their last four away FA Cup games, but have failed to score in three of the four themselves.

Leeds have been eliminated by North London clubs in each of the last three FA Cups, losing to Tottenham in 2010 and Arsenal in 2011 and 2012.

At Elland Road, Leeds have lost just one of their last eight games (W6 D1), although that defeat came against another Premier League side, Chelsea, 5-1 in the Capital One Cup.

Andre Villas Boas's Tottenham side are now unbeaten in eight games, winning five and drawing three. After no goals in his first 13 games in the competition, Gareth Bale has scored in three successive FA Cup games.

A large crowd is expected at Elland Road this afternoon, but a few of them may get their toes wet. This was the scene in the car park ahead of the match as heavy rain and melting ice caused flooding.

A car drives across the flooded car park at Elland Road

1.15pm Kick-off is at 2pm for this one. In the meantime, you can follow Dan Ripley's live blog of the Brentford-Chelsea match here. Oscar has just levelled for Chelsea, so the latest score is 1-1.

1.12pm The big news for Leeds fans is that Luciano Becchio isn't involved at all after the Argentine handed in a transfer request during the week.

Where does the future lie Luciano Becchio handed in a transfer request to Leeds last week

Where does the future lie Luciano Becchio handed in a transfer request to Leeds last week

1.10pm Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to our live coverage of the weekend's penultimate FA Cup fourth round tie between Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road.

It promises to be a cracker and here are the two starting line-ups for the match:

Leeds United: Ashdown, Byram, Peltier, Lees, White, Green, Brown, Austin, Varney, Diouf, McCormack

Substitutes: Kenny, Pearce, Tonge, Norris, Somma, Hall, Dawson

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Naughton, Caulker, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Parker, Lennon, Bale, Sigurdsson, Dempsey

Substitutes: Gomes, Walker, Townsend, Livermore, Dembele, Dawson, Obika

Away day blues Tottenham will aim to record their first win on the road in 2013

Away day blues Tottenham will aim to record their first win on the road in 2013

Brendan Rodgers claims Luis Suarez will not leave Liverpool

Suarez isn't going anywhere, vows Rodgers as Liverpool chase European place

Andy Hampson, Press Association


10:23 GMT, 26 January 2013



10:23 GMT, 26 January 2013

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no concerns about star striker Luis Suarez's commitment to the club.

The Uruguay international is enjoying an outstanding season having scored 20 goals for the Anfield outfit.

That has led to speculation that other clubs could move in for the 40million-rated forward if the Reds' absence from the Champions League continues.

Staying put: Brendan Rodgers says his star striker Luis Suarez will remain at Anfield even if they miss out on the Champions League

Staying put: Brendan Rodgers says his star striker Luis Suarez will remain at Anfield even if they miss out on the Champions League

Liverpool are currently seventh in the Barclays Premier League and facing a battle to regain a place in Europe's elite competition.

But Rodgers is confident Suarez shares his vision for the club and does not believe the 26-year-old's future on Merseyside depends on whether they qualify or not.

Don't walk away: Rodgers says he has no reason to doubt Suarez's commitment, despite rumours of a big money move

Don't walk away: Rodgers says he has no reason to doubt Suarez's commitment, despite rumours of a big money move

Rodgers said: 'Luis had a terrific season last season and he had an opportunity to leave in the summer, and probably would have had a ready-made excuse with a new manager coming in, but he never did.

'He committed to the club. He sees the vision going forward, and he believes in that.

'He knows it won't happen overnight. He has had a brilliant season with 20 goals until now, and hopefully there are many more to come.'

Sharp shooter: Suarez already has 20 goals this season

Sharp shooter: Suarez already has 20 goals this season

Suarez signed a long-term contract at Anfield in August.

Liverpool face a big week with an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Oldham followed by Premier League away trips to Arsenal and Manchester City.

Rodgers is determined to keep firing on all fronts.

He said: 'When you are a club like this you are judged on your trophies, and we want to improve in the league as well.'

Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Ultimate guide

Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Your ultimate guide to the action in South Africa

. Known as a
‘fixer’, he has an established record of turning teams around and has
led four different teams to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title.

Captain: Bongani Khumalo – Was handed
the captain’s armband following the retirement of Everton’s Steven
Pienaar and was Igesund’s first choice. Fans of Tottenham may recall
that Khumalo joined the club from feeder club Supersport United in
January 2011 and the 26-year-old centre-back remains on their books,
despite his only appearances in English football coming during loan
spells at Preston North End and then Reading. He is currently out in
Greece on loan at PAOK.

British based players: Kagisho Dikgacoi
(Crystal Palace, midfielder, 48 caps and two goals); Dean Furman (Oldham
Athletic, midfielder, five caps)

Star Player: Katlego Mphela – A player
who has impressed ever since joining the Bafana Bafana fold in 2005 and
who boasts an impressive scoring record of 23 goals in 47 appearances.
Many of these have been eye-catching or crucial in the context of the
game – strikes of note include a last minute 30-yard free-kick to take
the 2009 Confederations Cup third-place play-off with Spain into extra

Squad: Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Senzo Meyiwa (Orlando Pirates), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Defenders: Siboniso Gaxa and Tshepo
Masilela (Chiefs), Thabo Matlaba and Siyabonga Sangweni (Pirates),
Bongani Khumalo (PAOK), Anele Ngcongca (Genk), Thabo Nthethe
(Bloemfontein Celtic)

Midfielders: Reneilwe Letsholonyane and
Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows), Kagiso
Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace), Dean Furman (Oldham), Max Mahlangu
(Helsingborg), Oupa Manyisa (Pirates), Thuso Phala (Platinum Stars),
Thulani Serero (Ajax)

Strikers: Lehlohonolo Majoro and Bernard Parker (Chiefs), Katlego Mphela (Sundowns), Tokelo Rantie (Malmo)


Nickname: Lions of the Atlas

FIFA Ranking: 74

Colours: Red

Best Cup of Nations: Winners, 1976

Manager: Rachid Taoussi – A relatively
recent appointment, having replaced Eric Gerets when Morocco
embarrassingly lost to Mozambique in the first leg of their Africa Cup
of Nations qualifier in September last year. His first successful task
was to overcome that 2-0 deficit with a 4-0 home win to seal their place
in the competition. Taoussi, 56, earned his appointment by taking
Moroccan side Maghreb Fez to a historic triple of African Federation
Cup, African Super Cup and the Throne Cup.

Captain: Nadir Lamyaghri – A new
appointment following an unedifying war of words between Taoussi and
regular captain Houssine Kharja in the build-up to the tournament.
Kharja hit out at his manager, whom he believed was ignoring him because
he had moved from Fiorentina to Qatari side Al-Arabi last June. ‘I
think Taoussi lacked courage – during the past few months he has been
very evasive with me, using excuses not to choose me such as the
distance I must travel for matches,’ he has said. Lamyaghri is a
long-serving goalkeeper, with 37 caps to his credit.

British based players: Karim El Ahmadi
(Aston Villa, midfielder, 19 caps and one goal); Oussama Assaidi
(Liverpool, striker, 11 caps and one goal)

Star Player: Abdelaziz Barrada –
Morocco’s up-and-coming hope, who has played for Getafe in La Liga since
August 2011. The 23-year-old central midfielder possesses a good first
touch, intelligent passing range and can also take a mean free-kick.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Khalid Askiri (Raja Casablanca), Nadir Lamyaghri (Wydad Casablanca), Anas Zniti (Moghreb Fes)

Defenders: Abderahim Chakir (FAR Rabat),
Abdelatif Nousseir (Moghreb Fes), Issam El Adoua (Guimaraes), Mehdi
Benatia (Udinese), Zakarya Bergdich (Lens), Ahmed Kantari (Brest),
Abdelhamid El Kaoutari (Montpellier)

Midfielders: Karim El Ahmadi (Aston
Villa), Abdelaziz Barrada (Getafe), Chahir Belghazouani (Ajaccio),
Younes Belhanda (Montpellier), Adil Hermach (Al Hilal), Kamal Chafni
(Brest), Mehdi Namli (Moghreb Tetouan)

Strikers: Nordin Amrabat (Galatasaray),
Youssef El Arabi (Granada), Oussama Assaidi (Liverpool), Abderrazak
Hamdallah (Olympique Safi), Mounir El Hamdaoui (Fiorentina), Youssef
Kadioui (FAR)

Home rule: Spurs' Khumalo will be hoping to lead his nation to glory

Home rule: Spurs' Khumalo will be hoping to lead his nation to glory


Nickname: The Sable Antelopes

FIFA Ranking: 84

Colours: Red and black

Best Cup of Nations: Quarter-finals, 2008 and 2010

Manager: Gustavo Ferrin – Ferrin, who
hails from Uruguay, replaced Lito Vidigal after Angola failed to get
beyond the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations last year. His
challenge is to guide Angola to a second World Cup finals, following
their appearance at the Germany tournament in 2006, and so this
tournament should serve as a good yardstick.

Captain: Manucho – remember him The
great hope of Angolan football, talent spotted and given his dream move
to Manchester United back in 2008. He played just ten minutes of league football at Old
Trafford before loan spells at Panathinaikos and Hull City. He’s now in
Spain at Real Valladolid and has a decent scoring record.

Star Player: Djalma Campos – he versatile frontman is on the
books of FC Porto, though he is spending the season on loan with
Kasimpasa in Turkey, the side Roy Keane was linked to late last year. He
has three goals in 29 appearances for Angola.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Lama (Petro Atletico), Landu (Recreativo Libolo), Neblu (Primeiro Agosto)

Defenders: Amaro, Bastos and Dani
Massunguna (Primeiro), Fabricio, Mingo Bille and Pirolito (InterClube),
Marco Airosa (AEL Limassol), Lunguinha (Kabuscorp), Zuela (Apoel

Midfielders: Dede and Gilberto (AEL Limassol), Manucho Dinis (Primeiro), Manuel (Aviacao), Miguel (Petro)

Strikers: Djalma (Kasimpasa), Geraldo
(Parana), Guilherme Afonso (Vaduz), Manucho Goncalves (Real Valladolid),
Mateus (Nacional), Yano (Progresso)

Cape Verde Islands

Nickname: Blue Sharks

FIFA Ranking: 69

Colours: Blue, white and red

Best Cup of Nations: First tournament

Manager: Lucio Antunes – The island
nation are led into their first major tournament by Antunes who, in his
three years in the post, has successfully scouted a group of players
from the country’s small population and got them to the finals.

Captain: Nando Maria Neves – 34-year-old
centre-back, nicknamed Nando, who plies his trade with French second
division side Chateauroux and has 28 caps for Cape Verde.

A bit of a
journeyman player, he has played for teams in Portugal, Switzerland,
Tunisia, Qatar and the Czech Republic.

Star Player: Ryan Mendes – If Cape Verde
are to achieve anything in this tournament, much will depend on the
attacking play of Mendes, who plays for French club Lille.

23-year-old scored three important goals in the AFCON 2013 qualification
tournament, having worked his way through the national team’s youth

Squad: Goalkeepers: Fock (Petro Atletico), Rilly (Mindelense), Vozinha (Progresso Sambizanga)

Defenders: Carlitos (AEL Limassol),
Fernando Varela (Vaslui), Gege (Maritimo), Guy Ramos (Waalwijk), Josimar
(Dordrecht), Nando (Chateauroux), Nivaldo (Academica Coimbra), Pecks
(Gil Vicente)

Midfielders: Babanco and David Silva
(Olhanense), Platini (Santa Clara), Roni (Fola Esch), Marco Soares
(Omonia Nicosia), Stenio (Feirense), Toni Varela (Sparta Rotterdam)

Strikers: Djaniny (Olhanense), Heldon (Maritimo), Julio Tavares (Dijon), Ryan Mendes (Lille), Rambe (Belenenses)


Saturday January 19 – Johannesburg
South Africa v Cape Verde Islands (4pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport
Angola v Morocco (7pm) – British Eurosport

Wednesday January 23 – Johannesburg
South Africa v Angola (3pm) – British Eurosport
Morocco v Cape Verde Islands (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

Sunday January 27 – Durban
Morocco v South Africa (5pm) – ITV4 (tbc) and British Eurosport

Sunday January 27 – Port Elizabeth
Cape Verde Islands v Angola (5pm) – British Eurosport 2

Danny Mills' verdict

As with the World Cup in 2010, this will be a showcase of both South Africa as a team and nation.

The support of the home crowd will give them a lift by another ten per cent in each game. But they bring a young, inexperienced team to the tournament and probably won’t have enough to go all the way.

I'm not sure how it’s going to go for Morocco and the other North African nations.

Morocco have Karim El Ahmadi, whom Aston Villa could do without losing given they are struggling at the moment.

First-timers: Cape Verde are making their debut at the finals

First-timers: Cape Verde are making their debut at the finals



Nickname: Black Stars

FIFA Ranking: 30

Colours: All-white

Best Cup of Nations: Winners 1963, 1965, 1978, 1982

Manager: James Kwesi Appiah – After a
run of two successive Serbian managers, the Black Stars appointed almost
from within when selecting Appiah, given that he had served as interim
boss previously. A former left-back and captain for the national side
between 1987 and 1992, he was given the top job in April last year.

Captain: Asamoah Gyan – It's been quite a
rollercoaster for Gyan since he shot to prominence at the 2010 World
Cup. There, he scored three important goals, including the extra time
winner against the United States in the second round.

He famously missed
a last minute penalty in the quarter-final with Uruguay, following Luis
Suarez’s deliberate handball on the line.

His performances earned a
move to Sunderland, where an encouraging and fairly prolific first
season was followed by niggling injuries in his second. Gyan now plays
for Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, where he is on a five-year
contract worth 6.4m.

British based player: Albert Adomah (Bristol City, Midfielder, four caps)

Squad: Goalkeepers: Daniel Adjei (Liberty Professionals), Fatau Dauda (Ashanti Gold), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset)

Defenders: Harrison Afful (Esperance),
Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor), Mohammed Awal (Maritzburg Utd), John
Boye (Rennes), Kissi Boateng (Berekum Chelsea), Jonathan Mensah (Evian),
John Paintsil (Hapoel Tel Aviv), Isaac Vorsah (Red Bull Salzburg)

Midfielders: Albert Adomah (Bristol
City), Anthony Annan (Osasuna), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Solomon
Asante (Berekum), Christian Atsu (Porto), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu
(Udinese), Derek Boateng (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Mohammed Rabiu
(Evian), Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol)

Strikers: Emmanuel Clottey (Esperance), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Sassuolo)

Star Player: Kwadwo Asamoah – despite
being only 24, Asamoah is an accomplished player for both Ghana, for
whom he has 41 caps, and his club Juventus, where his dynamic midfield
performances have been of a maturing player reaching his full potential.

Congo DR

Nickname: The Leopards

FIFA Ranking: 99

Colours: Blue and red

Best Cup of Nations: Winners, 1968 and 1974

Manager: Claude Le Roy – The blonde
haired Frenchman has had an extraordinary career, having managed across
Africa and the Middle East. He was briefly at Cambridge United in 2004,
though he was essentially volunteering to assist coach Herve Renard, who
will feature in this tournament as manager of Zambia. Le Roy previously
managed DR Congo between 2004 and 2006 and returned in 2011.

Captain: Tresor Mputu – 27-year-old
striker once described by Le Roy as the next Samuel Eto’o, Mputu has an
excellent scoring record for the Leopards, with 13 in 22 starts.
Currently leading the line for TP Mazembe in his native country, he has
been linked with a possible move to Celtic during one of the transfer
windows this year.

British based players: Youssouf Mulumbu
(West Bromwich Albion, Midfielder, 12 caps); Gabriel Zakuani
(Peterborough United, defender, one cap)

Games Mulumbu will miss: January 19 –
Aston Villa (H); January 30 – Everton (A); February 3 – Tottenham
Hotspur (H); February 11 – Liverpool (A)

Squad: Goalkeepers: Robert Kidiaba (TP Mazembe), Bakala Landu (MK Etancheite), Parfait Mandanda (Charleroi)

Defenders: Jean Kasusula (Mazembe),
Larrys Mabiala (Karabukspor), Chancel Mbemba (Anderlecht), Cedric
Mongongu (Evian), Issama Mpeko (Vita Club), Landry Mulemo (Kortrijk),
Gabriel Zakuani (Peterborough)

Midfielders: Dioko Kaluyituka
(Al-Kharitiyath), Deo Kanda (Mazembe), Cedric Makiadi (Freiburg), Zola
Matumona (Mons-Bergen), Tresor Mputu (Mazembe), Youssouf Mulumbu (West
Bromwich Albion)

Strikers: Patou Kabangu (Mazembe), Yves
Diba (Al-Raed), Domi Kumbela (Eintracht Brunswick), Tresor LuaLua Lomana
(Karabukspor), Manzia Budje (Shark), Dieumerci Mbokani (Anderlecht),
Luvumbu Nzinga (Rojolu)

Star Player: Dieumerci Mbokani – The
pressure to deliver goals will fall largely on Anderlecht striker
Mbokani, who is adept at playing the orthodox striking role or cutting
in from the flanks. He has an impressive record in the
Belgium, with 28 goals in 40 league games.

Best foot forward: Gyan (right) will lead the Black Stars in South Africa

Best foot forward: Gyan (right) will lead the Black Stars in South Africa


Nickname: The Eagles

FIFA Ranking: 25

Colours: Yellow, red and green

Best Cup of Nations: Runners-up 1972

Manager: Patrice Carteron – Sunderland
fans will remember Carteron as the loanee who scored in the Tyne Wear
derby of April 2001.

Captain: Seydou Keita – The most
experienced head in the Mali dressing room. He was, of course, at
Barcelona for four years up to last summer, winning three La Liga titles
and two European Cups.

British based players: Samba Diakite
(Queen Park Rangers, midfielder, five caps); Modibo Maiga (West Ham
United, striker, 36 caps and seven goals)

Games Diakite will miss: January 19 –
West Ham (A); January 26 – Milton Keynes Dons (H, FA Cup fourth round);
January 29 – Manchester City (H); February 2 – Norwich City (H);
February 9 – Swansea City (A)

Games Maiga will miss: January 16 –
Manchester United (A, FA Cup third round replay); January 19 – Queens
Park Rangers (H); January 23 – Arsenal (A); January 26 – Possible Fulham
(H, FA Cup fourth round); February 2 – Swansea City (H); February 10 –
Aston Villa (A)

Squad: Goalkeepers: Soumbeyla Diakite (Stade Malien), Mamadou Samassa (Guingamp), Aly Yirango (Djoliba)

Defenders: Adama Coulibaly (Auxerre),
Idrissa Coulibaly (Lekihwiya), Ousmane Coulibaly (Brest), Salif
Coulibaly (Djoliba), Fousseyni Diawara (Ajaccio), Mahamadou Ndiaye
(Vitoria Guimaraes), Adama Tamboura (Randers), Molla Wague (Caen)

Midfielders: Samba Diakite (QPR), Cheick
Fantamady Diarra (Rennes), Sigamary Diarra (Ajaccio), Seydou Keita
(Aerbin Dalian), Mohamed Lamine Sissoko (Paris Saint Germain), Samba Sow
(Lens), Kalilou Traore (Sochaux), Mahamane Traore (Nice), Sambou
Yatabare (Bastia)

Strikers: Cheick Tidiane Diabate (Bordeaux), Modibo Maiga (West Ham), Mamadou Samassa (Chievo)

Star Player: Modibo Maiga – Maiga can be a bit
hit and miss, as Hammers fans have found at times and he has five goals
for his country.


Nickname: Gazelles

FIFA Ranking: 105

Colours: White

Best Cup of Nations: Round one, 2012

Manager: Gernot Rohr – Rohr created the
vacancy for himself when, managing Gabon at last year’s Africa Cup of
Nations, they beat Niger 2-0 in the group stages and signalled the
beginning of the end for Niger’s French boss Rolland Courbis.

So, the
59-year-old German was brought in and he successfully booked his place
in another AFCON with a win over Guinea.

Captain: Moussa Maazou – National
captain at just 24, striker Maazou has seven goals for his country so
far and will be expected to increase that at the Cup of Nations.

He was
tipped for a career in Europe when he arrived at Lokeren in 2008 and
then CSKA Moscow the following year.

However, he failed to settle and,
following a succession of loan spells, decided to return to Africa with
Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel last year.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Moussa Alzouma (Garde Nationale), Daouda Kassaly (Chippa Utd), Saminou Rabo (Sahel)

Defenders: Ismael Alassane, Kader Amadou
and Mohamed Soumaila (Olympic), Mohamed Bachar and Luky James (AS
Douane), Mohammed Chikoto (Marsa), Koffi Dankowa (Zarzis), Kourouma
Fatogoma (Chabab)

Midfielders: Issoufou Boubacar
(clubless), Karim Konate (clubless), Issiakou Koudize (Garde Nationale),
Idrissa Laouali (Mangasport), Amadou Mountari (Le Mans), Williams
N’Gonou (LB 07), Souleymane Sakou (Olympic), Babacar Talatou (AmaZulu)

Strikers: Kamilou Daouda (Saoura), Issoufou Dante (Wydad Fes), Moussa Maazou (Etoile Sahel), Modibo Sidib (clubless)

Star Player: Daouda Kamilou –
Algerian-based striker likely to carry Niger’s strongest attacking

The 25-year-old has three goals for his country and currently
plays for Algerian top division side JS Saoura.


Sunday January 20 – Port Elizabeth
Ghana v DR Congo (3pm) – British Eurosport
Mali v Niger (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

Thursday January 24 – Port Elizabeth
Ghana v Mali (3pm) – British Eurosport
Niger v DR Congo (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

Monday January 28 – Port Elizabeth
Ghana v Niger (5pm) – ITV4 (tbc) and British Eurosport

Monday January 28 – Durban
DR Congo v Mali (5pm) – British Eurosport 2

Danny Mills' verdict

It’s hard to
look beyond Ghana for this group.

They performed brilliantly in the 2010
World Cup but like some of the other teams in the tournament with just
star man, they will be looking to Asamoah Gyan to deliver.

If he does,
then it is possible they could challenge for the trophy.

He didn’t have
the best of times in the Premier League, but seems to be getting some
form back now.

Play it Coul: The Auxerre defedner (right) will eb in action for Mali

Play it Coul: The Auxerre defedner (right) will eb in action for Mali



Nickname: Super Eagles

FIFA Ranking: 52

Colours: All-Green

Best Cup of Nations: Winners, 1980 and 1994

Manager: Stephen Keshi – A Nigerian
veteran of 64 caps, former defender Keshi picked up the Super Eagles at
their lowest ebb – when they failed to qualify for the Cup of Nations a
year ago, for the first time in 26 years. There were no such problems
this time, with Nigeria easily beating Liberia 8-3 on aggregate. Keshi
has previously managed two other teams in this tournament – Mali and

Captain: Joseph Yobo – The centre back,
formerly of Everton, has seen it all during an international career
spanning 12 years and 89 caps. He assumed the captaincy before the 2010
World Cup finals, which were his second tournament following the 2002
finals in Japan and South Korea. Now 32, Yobo plays for Fenerbahce in

British based players: Mikel John Obi
(Chelsea, midfielder, 38 caps and three goals); Victor Moses (Chelsea,
striker, six caps and two goals)

Games Moses and Mikel will miss: January
16 – Southampton (H); January 20 – Arsenal (H); January 23 – Swansea
City (A, League Cup semi-final, second leg); January 27 – Brentford (A,
FA Cup fourth round); January 30 – Reading (A); February 2 – Newcastle
United (A); February 9 – Wigan Athletic (H)

Squad: Goalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheba), Vincent Enyeama (Maccabi Tel Aviv)

Defenders: Efe Ambrose (Celtic),
Elderson Echiejile (Braga), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kenneth
Omeruo (ADO Den Haag), Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars), Juwon Oshaniwa
(Ashdod), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahce)

Midfielders: Reuben Gabriel (Kano
Pillars), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Obiora
Nwankwo (Calcio Padova), Fegor Ogude (Valerenga), Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio)

Strikers: Sunday Mba and Ejike Uzoenyi
(Enugu), Emmanuel Emenike (Spartak Moscow), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv),
Victor Moses (Chelsea), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow), Ikechukwu Uche

Star Player: John Obi Mikel – The
25-year-old has achieved pretty much
everything in the club game and now is his opportunity to add
international honours too.

Has three goals in his
38 appearances – one more than he has in 263 games for Chelsea!


Nickname: The Copper Bullets

FIFA Ranking: 34

Colours: Orange and green

Best Cup of Nations: Winners, 2012

Manager: Herve Renard – A national hero
after leading the team to Africa Cup of Nations victory last time out,
beating fancied Senegal, Ghana and the ivory Coast along the way. He
worked with the DR Congo coach Claude Le Roy – his mentor in the game –
to save Cambridge United from the drop in a short spell back in 2004.

Frenchman Renard also managed the Zambian team between 2008 and 2010.

Captain: Christopher Katongo – An
inspiration in the playmaker role during their triumph last year,
Katongo is regarded as a powerful workhorse of a player. He was voted
BBC African Footballer of the Year in 2012 in appreciation of his role
in Zambia’s historic win.

He plays out in China for Henan Construction
and has 68 caps to his credit.

British based players: Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton, striker, 40 caps and ten goals)

Games Mayuka will miss: January 16 –
Chelsea (A); January 21 – Everton (H); January 30 – Manchester United
(H); February 2 – Wigan Athletic (A); February 9 – Manchester City (H)

Squad: Goalkeepers: Daniel Munyau (Red Arrows), Kennedy Mweene (Free State Stars), Joshua Titima (Power Dynamos)
Defenders: Hichani Himoonde, Francis
Kasonde and Stoppila Sunzu (TP Mazembe), Emmanuel Mbola (Porto), Joseph
Musonda (Golden Arrows), Davies Nkausu (SuperSport Utd)

Midfielders: Isaac Chansa and
Christopher Katongo (Henan Jianje), Rainford Kalaba and Nathan Sinkala
(Mazembe), Noah Chivuta (Free State Stars), Felix Katongo (Petro
Atletico), Chisamba Lungu (Ural Oblast), Mukuka Mulenga (Power Dynamos),
William Njobvu (Hapoel Beer Sheba)

Strikers: James Chamanga (Liaojing
Whowin), Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton), Collins Mbesuma (Orlando
Pirates), Jacob Mulenga (Utrecht), Jonas Sakuwaha (Al Merreikh)

Star Player: Emmanuel Mayuka – The
winner of the Cup of Nations Golden Boot last year after scoring three
goals, including the winner against Ghana in the semi-finals.

performances were part of Southampton’s thinking when they acquired him
from Young Boys in August, but he has only started one game for the
Saints so far. Despite being only 22, he has accumulated 38 caps for
Zambia, scoring ten goals.

Out of Africa: Moses is swapping duties at Stamford Bridge potentially for three weeks

Out of Africa: Moses is swapping duties at Stamford Bridge potentially for three weeks


Nickname: Walya Antelopes or Black Lions

FIFA Ranking: 110

Colours: Yellow and green stripes

Best Cup of Nations: Winners, 1962

Manager: Sewnet Bishaw – In charge of
the national team for a second spell, Bishaw has already exceeded
expectations by qualifying for the finals for the first time since they
won the competition in 1962.

They beat Sudan on away goals following a
5-5 aggregate scoreline.

Captain: Degu Debebe – The majority of
the Ethiopian players play in their own domestic league and 28-year-old
centre-back Debebe is one, representing Saint-George.

He is believed to
have in the region of 40 international caps, putting him well on course
to be the country’s most capped player.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Sisay Bancha (Dedebit), Zerihun Tadele (St George), Jemal Tassew (Coffee)

Defenders: Abebaw Butako, Degu Debebe,
Biadgelegn Elias and Alula Girma (St George), Berhanu Bogale, Aynalem
Hailu and Seyoum Tesfaye (Dedebit)

Midfielders: Behailu Assefa, Addis
Hintsa and Minyahil Teshome (Dedebit), Shimeles Bekele and Yared Zinabu
(St George), Dawit Estifanos (Coffee), Asrat Megersa (EEPCO), Yusuf
Saleh (Syrianska)

Strikers: Adane Girma and Oumed Ukuri
(St George), Fuad Ibrahim (Minnesota Stars), Getaneh Kebede (Dedebit),
Saladin Said (Wadi Degla)

Star Player: Adana Girma – A teammate of
Debebe at Saint-George, forward Girma will have to bring his scoring
boots to guide Ethiopia out of the group.

He scored in both legs of the
qualification play-off with Sudan and has seven for his country overall.

Burkina Faso

Nickname: The Stallions

FIFA Ranking: 89

Colours: All-green

Best Cup of Nations: Fourth place, 1998

Manager: Paul Put – The Belgian replaced
Paulo Duarte in March last year after a grim performance at the last
Cup of Nations which saw Burkina Faso lose all three of their group
games. Put was in charge of Gambia at the time and made the switch to
guide Burkina Faso narrowly past the Central African Republic in the

Captain: Moumouni Dagano – Leading from
the front is Dagano, who scored 12 goals in the World CUp 2010 qualifiers, making him the joint-highest worldwide scorer.
He recently signed for Qatari club Al-Sailiya.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Daouda Diakite (Lierse), Germain Sanou (St Etienne), Abdoulaye Soulama (Asante Kotoko)

Defenders: Mohamed Koffi (Petrojet),
Bakary Kone (Lyon), Paul Koulibaly (Dynamo Bucharest), Mady
Panandetiguiri (Antwerp), Henri Traore (Ashanti Gold)

Midfielders: Charles Kabore (Marseille),
Djakaridja Kone (Evian), Prejuce Nacoulma (Gornik Zabrze), Issouf
Ouattara (Chernomorets Burgas), Jonathan Pitroipa (Rennes), Aly Rabo (Al
Shorta), Florent Rouamba (Sheriff Tiraspol), Wilfried Sanou (Kyoto
Sanga), Abdou Razack Traore (Lechia Gdansk), Alain Traore (Lorient)

Strikers: Wilfried Dah and Pierre
Koulibaly (Al Dhaid Sharjah), Wilfried Balima (Sheriff Tiraspol),
Aristide Bance (Augsburg), Moumouni Dagano (Al Siliya)

Star Player: Alain Traore – The older
brother of Chelsea academy product Bertrand, the Lorient striker will be
trying to trouble a few defenders in the tournament. He is based in
France and was previously with Auxerre before switching to his current
club when they were relegated in 2012.


Monday January 21 – Nelspruit
Zambia v Ethiopia (3pm) – British Eurosport
Nigeria v Burkina Faso (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

Friday January 25 – Nelspruit
Zambia v Nigeria (3pm) – British Eurosport
Burkina Faso v Ethiopia (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

Tuesday January 29 – Nelspruit
Zambia v Burkina Faso (5pm) – ITV4 (tbc) and British Eurosport

Tuesday January 29 – Rustenburg
Ethiopia v Nigeria (5pm) – British Eurosport 2

Danny Mills' verdict

the weight of fixtures at the moment, Rafa Benitez at Chelsea would not
have been too happy to see Mikel and Moses go off to the competition.

There’s no Essien this time but Nigeria will be very strong in this

Though the two Chelsea players will be missed, their desire to
play in the Cup of Nations and try to reward the home fans who
practically hero worship them is a distinct contrast to some of the
attitudes of international players in England and Europe.

Attention to detail: Workers at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg make the final checks

Attention to detail: Workers at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg make the final checks


Ivory Coast

Nickname: The Elephants

FIFA Ranking: 14 Colours: All-orange

Best Cup of Nations: Winners, 1992

Manager: Sabri Lamouchi – A young manager at 41, Lamouchi was a surprise appointment given he only retired from playing three years earlier. His career took his to Auxerre, Monaco, Parma, Inter Milan and Marseille among more exotic destinations. He also represented the French national team on 12 occasions. The decision to appoint him was controversial, with many fans wanting a more experienced replacement for Francois Zahoui. But he is starting to win them over by guiding the Ivory Coast through a volatile play-off with Senegal, which descended into a riot.

Captain: Didier Drogba – Arguably the most recognisable player in the entire tournament, Drogba has achieved pretty much everything in the domestic game but this may be his last chance to win the Cup of Nations. Having quit Chelsea on a high after winning the Champions League, Drogba joined Shanghai Shenhua in China, but will be grateful for some action since their league ended a few months ago. His scoring record for Ivory Coast excellent – 59 in 90.

British based players: Arouna Kone (Wigan Athletic, striker, 37 caps and nine goals); Kolo Toure (Manchester City, defender, 102 caps and six goals); Chieck Tiote (Newcastle United, midfielder, 33 caps); Gervinho (Arsenal, striker, 42 caps and nine goals); Abdul Razak (Manchester City, midfielder, two caps); Yaya Toure (Manchester City, midfielder, 71 caps and ten goals)

Star attraction: Former Chelsea striker Didier is heading to South Africa

Games Kone will miss: January 19 – Sunderland (H); January 26 – Macclesfield Town (A, FA Cup fourth round); January 29 – Stoke City (A); February 2 – Southampton (H); February 9 – Chelsea (A)

Games the Toure brothers and Razak will miss: January 19 – Fulham (H); January 26 – Stoke City (A, FA Cup fourth round); January 29 – Queens Park Rangers (A); February 3 – Liverpool (H); February 9 – Southampton (A)

Games Tiote will miss: January 19 – Reading (H); January 29 – Aston Villa (A); February 2 – Chelsea (H); February 9 – Tottenham Hotspur (A)

Games Gervinho will miss: January 16 – Swansea City (H, FA Cup third round replay); January 20 – Chelsea (A); January 23 – West Ham United (H); January 30 – Liverpool (H); February 2 – Stoke City (H); February 9 – Sunderland (A)

Squad: Goalkeepers: Boubacar Barry (Lokeren), Daniel Yeboah (Dijon), Ali Badra Sangare (Ivoire Academie)

Defenders: Souleymane Bamba (Trazbonspor), Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Emmanuel Eboue (Galatasaray), Igor Lolo (Kuban Krasnodar), Siaka Tiene (PSG), Kolo Toure (Manchester City), Ismael Traore (Brest/FRA)

Midfielders: Max Gradel (Saint-Etienne), Didier Ya Konan (Hanover), Abdul Razak (Manchester City), Romaric Ndri Koffi (Real Zaragoza), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Didier Zokora (Trazbonspor)

Strikers: Wilfried Bony (Vitesse Arnhem), Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua), Gervinho (Arsenal), Salomon Kalou (Lille), Arouna Kone (Wigan), Lacina Traore (Anzhi Makhachkala)

Star Player: Yaya Toure – In a squad full of household names, Yaya Toure stands out as the bedrock of a very talented and well-fancied side. Strong, bustling and tireless, Yaya – a veteran of 72 caps – will have an instrumental role to play if the country’s 'Golden Generation' are to fulfill their potential.

Warm welcome: The Ivory Coast stars were mobbed when they touched down

Warm welcome: The Ivory Coast stars were mobbed when they touched down


Nickname: The Eagles of Carthage

FIFA Ranking: 45

Colours: All-white

Best Cup of Nations: Winners, 2004

Manager: Sami Trabelsi – Another young boss at 44, but one who has vast experience of the Tunisian set-up having won 52 caps for them between 1994 and 2001. This is a country that gets through managers like loose change, so Trabelsi, at the helm for a whole two years, probably needs to deliver a respectable run in this tournament to keep his employment.

Captain: Aymen Mathlouthi – 28-year-old goalkeeper for Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel who is regarded as one of the best on the continent. Has 38 caps for his country.

Squad: Goalkeepers: Moez Ben Cherifia (Esperance), Aymen Mathlouthi (Etoile Sahel), Farouk Ben Mustapha (CA Bizertin)

Defenders: Khalil Chammam and Walid Hichri (Esperance), Aymen Abdennour (Toulouse), Anis Boussaidi (Tavria Simferopol), Chamseddine Dhaouadi (Etoile), Fateh Gharbi (CS Sfaxien), Bilel Ifa (Club Africain)

Midfielders: Youssef Msakni, Khaled Mouelhi and Mejdi Traoui (Esperance), Haten Baratli (Club Africain), Oussama Darragi (Sion), Chadi Hammami (Kuwait SC), Wissem Yahia (Mersin Idman Yurdu)

Strikers: Zouheir Dhaouadi (clubless), Hamdi Harbaoui (Lokeren), Issam Jomaa (Kuwait SC), Wahbi Khazri (Bastia), Saber Khlifa (Evian), Fakreddine Ben Youssef (Sfaxien)

Star Player: Issam Jemaa – Striker who has been involved with the national side since 2005 and will feature in his third Africa Cup of Nations this time round. Didn’t have the best time at Auxerre towards the end of his time in French football but has rediscovered his form in Kuwait and will be hoping to add to his 34 international goals in 70 games.


Nickname(s): Fennec Foxes, Desert Warriors

FIFA Ranking: 19

Colours: All-white

Best Cup of Nations: Winners, 1990

Manager: Vahid Halilhodzic – Veteran
Bosnian manager who has seen and done it all in his managerial career
and beat off some strong contenders when appointed Algerian coach in
June 2011.

He enjoyed success previously with the Ivory Coast, taking
them to the World Cup in South Africa but suffering the ignominy of the
sack four months before the tournament.

Captain: Medhi Lacen – The scourge of
England during that humiliating goalless draw at the 2010 World Cup,
Lacen has become a staple of the Algerian midfield. He plays in Spain
for Getafe, having previously turned out for Racing Santander and

British based players: Adlene Guedioura (Nottingham Forest, midfielder, 18 caps and one goal)

Squad: Goalkeepers: Azzeddine Doukha (Harrach), Rais Mbolhi (Krylia Sovetov), Cedric Si Mohammed (Bejaia)

Defenders: Essad Belkalem and Ali Rial
(JS Kabylie), Carl Medjani and Mehdi Mostefa (Ajaccio), Liassine
Cadamuro (Real Sociedad), Faouzi Ghoulam (Saint-Etienne), Rafik Halliche
(Academica), Djamel Mesbah (AC Milan)

Midfielders: Hameur Bouazza (Racing
Santander), Ryad Boudebouz (Sochaux), Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia),
Adlene Guedioura (Nottingham Forest), Foued Kadir (Marseille), Medhi
Lacen (Getafe), Khaled Lemmouchia (Club Africain), Saad Tedjar (USMA)

Strikers: Mohamed Aoudia (Entente Setif), Yacine Bezzaz (CS Constantine), Islam Slimani (Belouizdad), Hilal Soudani (Guimares)

Star Player: Sofiane Feghouli –
23-year-old attacking midfielder who plays for Valencia in Spain and who
will be vital in supplying ammunition to the strikers.

represented France at youth level but switched allegiance and has since
won nine caps, scoring twice.


Nickname: The Sparrow Hawks

FIFA Ranking: 71

Colours: All-yellow

Best Cup of Nations: First round, 1972, 1984, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2006

Manager: Didier Six – Remembered as the
left-sided player from the all-conquering French side of the early
eighties, Six won the European Championships in 1984 and played in the
1978 and 1982 World Cups. Has had two managerial posts – 25 years apart:
Strasbourg briefly in 1986 and then Togo from 2011 to present.

Captain: Emmanuel Adebayor – There
shouldn’t be much I need to add about this man, only that, following
retirement and on-off negotiations, the whole of Togo will be delighted
to welcome their talisman back to an international tournament. With 26
goals in his 54 Togo appearances, much will depend on the Spurs

British based players: Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur, striker, 54 caps and 26 goals)

Games Adebayor will miss: January 20 –
Manchester United (H); January 27 – Leeds United (A, FA Cup fourth
round); January 30 – Norwich City (A); February 3 – West Bromwich Albion
(A); February 9 – Newcastle United (H)

Squad: Goalkeepers: Mawugbe Atsou (Maranatha), Baba Tchagouni (Dijon)

Defenders: Serge Akakpo (Zilina), Sadat
Ouro-Akoriko (Free State Stars), Vincent Bossou (Navibank), Djene
Dakonam (Coton Sport), Donou Kokou (Maranatha), Abdoul-Gafar Mamah
(Dacia), Senah Mango (Marseille), Dare Nibombe (Boussou Dur Borinage)

Midfielders: Kodjo Ametepe (Maranatha),
Komlan Amewou (Nimes), Sapol Mani (Batna), Moustapha Salifou (clubless),
Prince Segbefia (Auxerre), Dove Wome (Free State Stars)

Strikers: Kalen Damessi (Lille), Thomas
Dossevi (Chonburi), Serge Gakpe (Nantes), Fessou Placa (Agaza), Emmanuel
Adebayor (Tottenham)

Star Player: Has to be Adebayor as well…


Tuesday January 22 – Rustenburg
Ivory Coast v Togo (3pm) – British Eurosport
Tunisia v Algeria (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

Saturday January 26 – Rustenburg
Ivory Coast v Tunisia (3pm) – British Eurosport
Algeria v Togo (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

Wednesday January 30 – Rustenburg
Ivory Coast v Algeria (5pm) – ITV4 (tbc) and British Eurosport

Wednesday January 30 – Nelspruit
Togo v Tunisia (5pm) – British Eurosport 2

Danny Mills' verdict

The Ivory Coast
are undoubtedly the best team in the tournament and are the obvious

They have a squad littered with big names and talented
players, while many of them, including Drogba, have phenomenal

They should play at a level above all others but they have
sometimes struggled against North African teams, so they won’t like to
see not one, but two in their group.

Their main enemy, however, is their
own complacency because the quality is clearly there.

Let the action begin! South Africa is ready to host the showpiece event

Let the action begin! South Africa is ready to host the showpiece event



1. Saturday February 2 – Port Elizabeth
Group B winners v Group A runners-up (3pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

2. Saturday February 2 – Durban
Group A winners v Group B runners-up (6.30pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

3. Sunday February 3 – Rustenburg
Group D winners v Group C runners-up (3pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

4. Sunday February 3 – Nelspruit
Group C winners v Group D runners-up (6.30pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport


1. Wednesday February 6 – Durban
Winner QF2 v Winner QF3 (3pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

2. Wednesday February 6 – Nelspruit
Winner QF4 v Winner QF1 (6.30pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport

Third Place Play-off

Saturday February 9 – Port Elizabeth
Loser SF1 v Loser SF2 (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport


Sunday February 10 – Johannesburg
Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 (6pm) – ITV4 and British Eurosport


1957 (Sudan) Egypt 4 Ethiopia 0
1959 (Egypt) Egypt 2 Sudan 1
1962 (Ethiopia) Ethiopia 4 Egypt 2
1963 (Ghana) Ghana 3 Sudan 0
1965 (Tunisia) Ghana 3 Tunisia 2
1968 (Ethiopia) DR Congo 1 Ghana 0
1970 (Sudan) Sudan 1 Ghana 0
1972 (Cameroon) Congo 1 Mali 0
1974 (Egypt) Zaire 2 Zambia 0
1976 (Ethiopia) Morocco (Group stage format)
1978 (Ghana) Ghana 2 Uganda 0
1980 (Nigeria) Nigeria 3 Algeria 0
1982 (Libya) Ghana 1 Libya 1 (Ghana won 7-6 on penalties)
1984 (Ivory Coast) Cameroon 3 Nigeria 1
1986 (Egypt) Egypt 0 Cameroon 0 (Egypt won 5-4 on penalties)
1988 (Morocco) Cameroon 1 Nigeria 0
1990 (Algeria) Algeria 1 Nigeria 0
1992 (Senegal) Ivory Coast 0 Ghana 0 (Ivory Coast won 11-10 on penalties)
1994 (Tunisia) Nigeria 2 Zambia 1
1996 (South Africa) South Africa 2 Tunisia 0
1998 (Burkina Faso) Egypt 2 South Africa 0
2000 (Ghana and Nigeria) Cameroon 2 Nigeria 2 (Cameroon won 4-3 on penalties)
2002 (Mali) Cameroon 0 Senegal 0 (Cameroon won 3-2 on penalties)
2004 (Tunisia) Tunisia 2 Morocco 1
2006 (Egypt) Egypt 0 Ivory Coast 0 (Egypt won 3-2 on penalties)
2008 (Ghana) Egypt 1 Cameroon 0
2010 (Angola) Egypt 1 Ghana 0
2012 (Gabon and Equatorial Guinea) Zambia 0 Ivory Coast 0 (Zambia won 8-7 on penalties)


Johannesburg National Stadium (94,700) Kaizer Chiefs and South Africa. Hosted the 2010 World Cup final between Holland and Spain

Durban Moses Mabhida Stadium (54,000) AmaZulu

Port Elizabeth Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (48,000)

Nelspruit Mbombela Stadium (41,000)

Rustenburg Bafokeng Stadium (42,000) Platinum Stars and Leopards

League One round-up: Sheffield United go top

League One round-up: Blades top as Crawley are cut down by McMahon


18:17 GMT, 22 December 2012



18:17 GMT, 22 December 2012

Sheffield United moved top of npower League One with a 2-0 win at Crawley.

The fixture was one of just four played in the third tier due to the awful weather, and two sweetly-struck free-kicks from Tony McMahon ensured the Blades made the most of their rivals having their games postponed.

Blades of glory: McMahon bends a free kick round the Crawley wall

Blades of glory: McMahon bends a free kick round the Crawley wall

Walsall picked up their first win in
17 games as they saw off Colchester 1-0, Febian Brandy scoring the only
goal just after the hour mark.

Yeovil chalked up a big win as they eased past Oldham with a 4-1 victory at Huish Park. Jose
Baxter had given the visitors an early lead, but a Gavin Williams'
double, the first from the spot, and a James Hayter strike put the
Glovers 3-1 to the good.

Latics striker Robbie Simpson was then dismissed for his challenge on Marek Stech, and Paddy Madden completed the scoring.

The day's other game saw Preston draw
1-1 at Coventry. James Bailey put the Sky Blues ahead but Lee Holmes
earned North End a share of the spoils.

Brighton fans are poshest in Football League ahead of MK Dons and Oxford City

Brighton supporters top posh list… as 90% of football fans class onion in pie as one of their five a day



13:18 GMT, 30 November 2012

Brighton and Hove Albion supporters have been voted the poshest in The Football League by their fellow fans, according to a survey conducted by Bet Butler.

Two thousand fans were polled to discover just which supporters prefer their tea and scones to their pie and mash.

It was The Seagulls faithful who were named the League's high-class collection, while 11 per cent of Albion's own fans agreed their club was 'very posh' by suggesting the team bus should be replaced with a stretch limo.

Posh: Brighton topped the Football League poll

Posh: Brighton topped the Football League poll


1,959 Football League fans were polled
to find out which club had the poshest supporters.

Championship Winner: Brighton and Hove Albion (12.8%) Relegated: Barnsley (0.1%)

League One Winner: MK Dons (7.9%) Relegated: Oldham Athletic (0%)

League Two Winner: Oxford United (6.5%) Relegated: Bradford City (0%)

* Peterborough United
were omitted from the vote due to the fact they are nicknamed The Posh,
which skewed results in their favour.

More than 25 per cent of Brighton fans opted for 'quite posh,' in contrast to Accrington Stanley fans, who didn't consider themselves posh at all.

Ninety per cent felt the onion in their matchday pie counted as one of their five a day.

In League One it was MK Dons who got the nod for having the third tier's most upmarket support, with 7.9 per cent of the total vote, while topping the League Two poll were Oxford United with 6.5 per cent.

Flying high: MK Dons topped the League One table

Flying high: MK Dons topped the League One table

Proud not to be posh were Barnsley, Oldham Athletic and Bradford City spanning the three football league divisions, with 0.1 per cent of the total votes between them.

Eighty-five per cent of Tykes labelled their club 'not posh at all,' while not a single Bantam or Latic could bring themselves to call their beloved side 'very posh.'


Brighton & Hove Albion 12.80%
Milton Keynes Dons 7.90%
Oxford United 6.50%
Cheltenham Town 6.20%
AFC Bournemouth 4.80%
Wycombe Wanderers 3.80%
York City 3.60%
Torquay United 2.20%
Yeovil Town 2.00%
Crystal Palace 1.90%
Watford 1.90%
Ipswich Town 1.70%
AFC Wimbledon 1.50%
Charlton Athletic 1.40%
Crawley Town 1.40%
Millwall 1.40%
Nottingham Forest 1.10%
Shrewsbury Town 1.10%
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.10%
Portsmouth 0.90%
Crewe Alexandra 0.80%
Leeds United 0.80%
Coventry City 0.70%
Stevenage 0.70%
Accrington Stanley 0.60%
Dagenham & Redbridge 0.60%
Derby County 0.60%
Leicester City 0.60%
Blackburn Rovers 0.50%
Brentford 0.50%
Cardiff City 0.50%
Colchester United 0.50%
Gillingham 0.50%
Plymouth Argyle 0.50%
Swindon Town 0.50%
Barnet 0.40%
Exeter City 0.40%
Fleetwood Town 0.40%
Leyton Orient 0.40%
Preston North End 0.40%
Sheffield Wednesday 0.40%
Aldershot Town 0.30%
Birmingham City 0.30%
Blackpool 0.30%
Bolton Wanderers 0.30%
Bristol City 0.30%
Bristol Rovers 0.30%
Burnley 0.30%
Burton Albion 0.30%
Doncaster Rovers 0.30%
Hartlepool United 0.30%
Morecambe 0.30%
Northampton Town 0.30%
Rotherham United 0.30%
Walsall 0.30%
Bury 0.20%
Carlisle United 0.20%
Chesterfield 0.20%
Hull City 0.20%
Middlesbrough 0.20%
Notts County 0.20%
Sheffield United 0.20%
Southend United 0.20%
Tranmere Rovers 0.20%
Barnsley 0.10%
Huddersfield Town 0.10%
Port Vale 0.10%
Rochdale 0.10%
Scunthorpe United 0.10%
Bradford City 0.00%
Oldham Athletic 0.00%

Keith Ashcroft dies: Former Wigan and St Helens prop, passes away, aged 72

Rugby League mourns death of former Wigan and St Helens prop Ashcroft, aged 72



15:34 GMT, 5 November 2012

Former Wigan, St Helens and Swinton prop Keith Ashcroft has died aged 72.

Ashcroft controversially had a try disallowed at Wembley in the 1970 Challenge Cup final when Wigan lost 7-2 to Castleford.

He played for Wigan between 1968 to 1970 making 59 appearances and scoring five tries.

More recently he was on the committe of the club’s Past Players’ Association.

Rugby League is mourning the death of former Wigan prob Keith Ashcroft

Rugby League is mourning the death of former Wigan prob Keith Ashcroft

Ashcroft joined Swinton from Oldham making his debut in August 1977 and was a player/assistant coach.

Ashcroft also played for Bradford Northern and Warrington in a career that spanned 20 years.

The funeral will take place at St Stephens in Whelley, at 10.45am on Thursday.

Police clear Oldham"s Lee Croft of racially abusing ball boy

Police clear Oldham's Croft of racially abusing ball boy after lack of evidence



11:01 GMT, 25 October 2012

Bust up: Lee Croft (left) lost his temper with a ball boy at Sheffield United earlier this month

Bust up: Lee Croft (left) lost his temper with a ball boy at Sheffield United earlier this month

Oldham midfielder Lee Croft will not face police action after he was accused of racially abusing a ball boy.

The allegation was made following the Latics' 1-1 draw away to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on October 13.

Croft vehemently denied any wrongdoing and was backed by his manager Paul Dickov.

A statement released on Oldham's official website read: 'South Yorkshire Police have found no evidence to support such allegations and they do not intend to take any further action in relation to this matter.'

The statement continued: 'It has been an extremely difficult time for Lee who has received the full support of the club and all his team-mates while these totally unfounded allegations have been investigated.

'The club would like to place on record its thanks to South Yorkshire Police for the thorough and expeditious manner in which it has completed its enquiry.'

Speaking at the pre-match press conference for Latics npower League One trip to Crawley this weekend shortly before the news was announced, Croft thanked his team-mates and Dickov for their support over the past two weeks.

'It's been hard, obviously, but I've just tried to get on with it,' he said. 'Coming in and getting on with my football, the lads have been brilliant.

'The gaffer has been good with me and the club as well, so it's been okay.'

Police probed an incident late in the game at Bramall Lane where Croft, now with Oldham, went to retrieve the ball for a throw-in as his side pressed for their late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

He became angry when the ball was kicked back on to the field beyond him by the ball boy, who is 14 but has not been named.

Croft appeared to say something, although the ball boy did not react at that point. At the end of the game Croft went to shake his hand. At first the ball boy took it but then yanked his hand away, apparently on realising it was Croft.

Sheffield United are said to have received up to nine complaints following the game, including some from stewards who were in the vicinity. It was reported to the police who launched an investigation.

Croft, 27, admitted at the time to losing his temper, saying he apologised to the boy.

Paul Scholes might take charge of Oldham Athletic one day

Scholes refuses to rule out possibility of one day managing his beloved Oldham



17:55 GMT, 24 October 2012

Paul Scholes has not ruled out the possibility of one day taking charge at Oldham Athletic.

The Manchester United midfielder has followed the club all his life and almost decided to play for them before he retired in 2011.

Legend: Paul Scholes is still going strong for Manchester United

Legend: Paul Scholes is still going strong for Manchester United

Scholes returned to the Red Devils fold in 2012 but when asked by a fan 'would you ever manage Oldham Athletic' he responded positively.

'It’s quite difficult to say. I don’t know what will happen when I stop playing and Oldham have a manager,' he said.

'But I love Oldham and it’s the first result I look out for every week. I take my lad to watch them whenever I can.'

The lifelong Latics fan names Frankie Bunn, the former Oldham striker, as his favourite player.

When asked to select his all-time favourite XI in 2006 he picked another Oldham old boy, Stuart Balmer, at the centre of the defence.

Former Man United midfielder Nicky Butt recently re-joined the club to assist in the coaching of the reserve team.

One day: Scholes still goes to Oldham when he can

One day: Scholes still goes to Oldham when he can