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AFCON quarterfinals, Live: Ivory Coast v. Algeria, Madagascar v. Tunisia

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Two huge quarterfinals take place at the Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday, as some heavyweight semifinals clashes are about to be set up.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations ]

Ivory Coast and Algeria clash in Suez as Premier League wing-wizards Riyad Mahrez and Wilfried Zaha go head-to-head. For many, this would be a spectacular final, so plenty is expected as the winner of this massive clash will play against Nigeria on Sunday.

In Thursday’s other quarterfinal surprise package Madagascar take on Tunisia, with the latter favored to advance. However, the Barea have already finished top of their group at the tournament this summer and knocked out DR Congo on penalty kicks in the Round of 16. Beware, Tunisia. Whoever wins this clash will face Sadio Mane’s Senegal in the semfinals.

Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Thursday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.


2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Thursday, July 11

Quarterfinals
Ivory Coast. Algeria – 12 p.m. ET
Madagascar v. Tunisia – 3 p.m. ET

Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 predictions

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The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 is almost here, as the first-ever 24 team version of this tournament is very intriguing indeed.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations scores ]

Some of the giants have struggled a little so far, while the likes of Mali and Madagascar have exceeded expectations by both winning their respective groups.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have shown flashes of brilliance with two goals each, while the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Riyad Mahrez have yet to hit top gear.

But we all know that when the knockout stage starts, the stars come out to play. Here’s hoping that is the case in Egypt.

Below you will find our predictions for the Round of 16 games over the upcoming four days.


Round of 16

July 5: Morocco defeat Benin
July 5: Senegal defeat Uganda

July 6: Nigeria defeat Cameroon
July 6: Egypt defeat South Africa

July 7: Madagascar defeat DR Congo
July 7: Algeria defeat Guinea

July 8: Mali defeat Ivory Coast
July 8: Tunisia defeat Ghana

Man United complete $57-million Wan-Bissaka transfer

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Manchester United’s pursuit of Aaron Wan-Bissaka is complete after the 21-year-old made his long-rumored transfer from Crystal Palace, the clubs announced on Saturday.

[ MORE: Full Premier League 2019-20 preseason schedule ]

The initial fee is understood to be $57 million — a record for an uncapped British player — with an additional $6.3 million of add-ons possible. Wan-Bissaka signed a five-year contract with Man United.

Wan-Bissaka will immediately take over as the starting right back at Old Trafford, replacing Antonio Valencia who signed for Ecuadorian side LDU Quito on Friday after 10 years at Man United, most of which saw him hold down the job at right back.

[ MORE: AC Milan banned from European competitions ]

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called Wan-Bissaka “one of the best upcoming defenders in the Premier League.”

“He has the right work ethic, talent and mentality to play for Manchester United and he fits exactly the type of player that we are looking to bring into the squad to help us improve and push on further.”

Transfer rumor roundup: Zaha to Arsenal; Ndombele delay

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The transfer window is officially open again and that means one thing: transfer reports are kicking up a few notches between now and Aug. 8 when the window shuts for the 2019-20 season.

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Here’s a look at some of the latest gossip from around the Premier League…


According to our partners at Sky Sports Wilfried Zaha has told Crystal Palace he wants to leave this summer for a fresh challenge.

The report states that he wants to sign for another club in London who play in Europe, which narrows it down to Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea. The latter have a transfer ban, so that’s not going to happen, so Zaha is eyeing north London.

He grew up as an Arsenal fan and per the report the Gunners have been sounded out about a deal and are going to be a bid in for Palace’s star who they value at $100 million. Zaha, 26, is currently away on international duty with the Ivory Coast but has started their two opening games on the bench, and would be a instant starter at either Arsenal or Spurs with his incredible pace and trickery out wide a nightmare to defend.

Zaha came through the ranks at Palace before being sold to Manchester United in 2013, but he then returned to Palace first on loan and then permanently in January 2015. It is believed United will receive 25 percent of any transfer fee Palace receive, as this is another huge blow for the Eagles who have already sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Man United this summer and Zaha scored  10 Premier League goals last season.

Despite signing a huge new contract last summer, Zaha spoke to the Daily Mail towards the end of last season about wanting to move on.

“For me to be better, to achieve what I know I am capable of, I have to aim to play at the very highest level, to win trophies,” Zaha said. “I’m blessed to have come this far in my playing career. But I feel like there is so much more I have to offer. I have to experience the Champions League. I just need the opportunity, that’s it. And I’ll do the rest.”

Now it’s about Arsenal putting up the cash to sign Zaha, and they’ll likely have to offload a few players to bring him in as Unai Emery reportedly has just $60 million to spend this summer after the Gunners failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.


Tottenham may be in for Zaha in the long run, but someone they are much closer to signing is Lyon and France central midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.

But they better hurry up.

A deal for Ndombele, 22, was said to be close as Spurs closed in on a significant signing after going 18 months without a new addition to their squad over the last three transfer windows.

But Jean-Michel Aulas, Lyon’s president, has revealed he will increase the price for Ndombele to $90 million unless Spurs crack on with negotiations.

“If I wait another eight days, it will be €80m. Tottenham made us an opening offer worth €45m. Then, we discussed more. Nothing is done, I can assure you. We are not in a hurry either. Tanguy has shown his qualities with the French national team. He is one of our best players. How much is he worth? I do not know, but not just €45m,” Aulas said.

“We had people speaking all night with Daniel Levy. He talks a lot and goes back on what we’ve agreed in writing. Agreements have not at all been respected. We had email exchanges which have been contradicted, so that’s made it very complicated. It’s difficult. The Tottenham board’s theory is to explain that the economic market is very hard and so we have to get used to renegotiating.

“It’s been very, very difficult. I’ve got 25 years of experience as a president of a club and it’s our 16th participation in a European competition in a row. But this is very rare in the football world. The negotiation with the Tottenham directors has been the hardest I have ever had to undergo in these 25 years.”

Now, Lyon’s president is known for being pretty outrageous with his public comments and this is no different. It also proves what everyone knows about Daniel Levy, that he is one of the top negotiators out there.

Spurs need someone to hold down central midfield, with Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier not really working out, while Moussa Sissoko has surprisingly been a revelation in a slightly different role in central midfield. Ndombele has been superb for Lyon over the past two seasons and has broken into the French national team in recent months. His distribution, reading of the game, dribbling and ability to intercept opponents have elevated him to the this level and he’s one of the best two-way central midfielders in the game right now.

This would be a massive coup in the transfer market for Tottenham.

With Christian Eriksen expected to move on this summer, Spurs will have some cash to spend and getting in Ndombele and perhaps improving their central defense with Toby Alderweireld also rumored to be leaving, has to be the priority.

LIVE, Africa Cup of Nations: Morocco v. Ivory Coast; Tunisia in action

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The group stage of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations has reached an intriguing stage, as plenty of teams begin to punch their tickets in the Round of 16.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations scores ]

With the 24-team format allowing the top four third-place teams to also advance, there is still so much to play for across these group games.

In Group D two giants collide as Morocco face the Ivory Coast with Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia (who scored their winner against South Africa earlier this week) and Crystal Palace’s Wiflried Zaha the leading men for the Elephants, while Southampton’s Sofiane Boufal played well for the Atlas Lions in their win against Namibia. South Africa and Namibia then face off in Group D and both teams lost their opening games, so a win here would be huge for their hopes of getting out of the group.

Group E sees Tunisia and Mali collide, with the latter top of the group and Tunisia in desperate need of a win after drawing their opening group game against Angola. Southampton’s new signing Moussa Djenepo is one of Mali’s key players, and Tunisia will be wary of his dribbling ability on the break.

Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Friday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.


2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Friday, June 28

Group D
Morocco v. Ivory Coast – 1 p.m. ET
South Africa v. Namibia – 4 p.m. ET

Group E
Tunisia v. Mali – 10:30 a.m. ET