Africa’s best bets in the Uefa Champions League
Africa’s stars are firmly in the running for club football’s grandest prize this season, with many of the continent’s top stars set to contest the Champions League quarter-finals this week.
One of the hot topics is the African participation in this year’s UCL, where all of the eight sides still standing have used talent from the continent this season.
Ed Dove and Malek Shafei debate which African All-Stars are best placed to win Old Big Ears this season in this week’s episode.
Will it be Riyad Mahrez, whose Manchester City side are enjoying such a strong season domestically this season…and romping to the Premier League title?
The Algeria maestro has been in excellent form heading into City’s quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund, and won the club’s Player of the Month award for March.
However, he must still prove that he can influence the biggest matches after fading last term. He was anonymous as City crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Arsenal, and was subsequently overlooked by Pep Guardiola as the Sky Blues were eliminated from the UCL by Olympique Lyonnais.
Will he be trusted in the big games this season, and can he help City advance to the semi-finals?
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane
Elsewhere, despite their Premier League troubles, Liverpool appear well placed to reach another final…even if they must see off Real Madrid in the Last Eight.
The Reds can count on Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane—both of whom scored in the Round of 16 against RasenBallsport Leipzig, and each come into their own on big European nights.
They’ve got experience of winning the big one, and will be desperate to end a testing season with more continental glory, and their 3-0 demolition of Arsenal away at the weekend bodes well for their UCL hopes.
Idrissa Gueye and Abdou Diallo
What about reigning champions Bayern Munich, who may turn to Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting when they taken on Paris Saint-Germain in a repeat of last year’s final.
New PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino can call upon Idrissa Gueye and Abdou Diallo has he looks to see off the reigning champions.
There’s also representation for Nigeria (Zaidu Sanusi), Mali (Moussa Marega), DR Congo (Chancel Mbemba), Senegal (Edouard Mendy) and Morocco (Hakim Ziyech) when FC Porto take on Chelsea looking to build on their success against Juventus.