Egypt’s national team kicked off the tournament on Friday, and now the nations turns its eyes to playing host to the Africa Cup of Nations with three Saturday kickoffs.
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Yannick Bolasie, Arthur Masuaku, and the Democratic Republic of Congo get us started with a Group A match against Uganda at 10:30 a.m. ET.
That’s followed up by the Super Eagles of Nigeria, with Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City preparing to tangle with Burundi at 1.
Finally, Guinea and Madagascar round out the day’s matches with a 4 p.m. start.
Democratic Republic of Congo v. Uganda – 10:30 a.m. ET
Nigeria v. Burundi – 1 p.m. ET
Guinea v. Madagascar – 4 p.m. ET
Among my most quoted coaching lines comes from former University at Buffalo and current Canisius College men’s basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon (and pretty sure it didn’t originate with him).
“It’s more about Jims and Joes than x’s and o’s.”
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So if Everton rebounds from its rough start to the season to reach its preseason potential, there’s a good chance we’ll credit the return of one of the most electric attackers in the game and not necessarily their new boss.
Yannick Bolasie returned to training on Wednesday, and not a moment too soon following a near one-year layoff due to an ACL tear.
There’s no guarantee the 28-year-old Bolasie will have the same burst, of course, but he has the potential to be a season-changer.
Everton was 5-4-4 when Bolasie went down with his injury last season, and improved on the mark the rest of the way, but are a moribund 3-3-6 this season.
On his day, there are few attackers as electrifying as Everton’s Yannick Bolasie.
Toffees fans can be forgiven for forgetting that on occasion, considering the Congolese winger hasn’t set foot on the Goodison Park pitch in almost a year.
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It was about 11 months ago that Bolasie and Romelu Lukaku were promising plenty of fireworks and revealing they speak in Lingala in order to confuse defenders.
Now Lukaku is painting Europe red with Manchester United, and Everton continues to wait for Bolasie’s return from ACL surgery. That could be coming soon, judging by Bolasie’s Twitter.
Don’t get too excited, though, as Ronald Koeman issued this update in his pre-Europa League press conference Wednesday.
“When I watch it I thought maybe he is available for tomorrow! He is doing well, it’s a long period and he’s working hard. What he did is not only football – you need to be stronger and ready to be competition. Maybe not three, four, five weeks until he’s ready to start first-team training.”