Guinea vs Gambia: 3 key battles to watch | AFCON 2021

Kweku Lawrence
By Kweku Lawrence
5 Min Read
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Gambia’s fairytale ride at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations could take a whole different shape on Monday, January 24, when they play Guinea in their last 16 tie at the Kuoekong Stadium.

Both teams finished as runners-up in their respective groups setting up an intriguing fight for a place in the next round of the competition.

While both teams have had different heroes in their respective games, Premier League News Now takes a look at some key battles that could determine the outcome of the encounter.

ALY KEITA vs MODOU JOBE

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In a battle of the shot-stoppers, both goalkeepers will look to play a key role in ensuring qualification for their respective countries. Aly Keita had his best game at the tournament in the last group game against Zimbabwe, where he conceded two goals in 90 minutes. Keita has recorded two clean sheets in three games against Malawi and Senegal. The 35-year-old was didn’t have much to do against Senegal with his best game coming against Malawi. Keita will look to put the last game behind him and put out his quality against Gambia.

Compared to his rival, Modou Jobe is 2 years younger than Keita. The 33-year-old is having a tournament to remember with Gambia’s debut at the continental showpiece. He may have kept just one clean sheet but Jobe has been a top performer for the Scorpions all tournament. The shot-stopper was rested for the final group game against Tunisia for Baboucarr Gaye. Jobe has managed 3.0 saves per game in the two games he has played in. He will need to come out best if Gambia are to sail through to the next round.

JOSE KANTE vs MUSA BARROW

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Jose Kante is yet to register a goal in the ongoing tournament but the forward has been a good addition to the Guinean side. The Kairat Almaty veteran has given his side the needed presence upfront anytime his side surged forward in the games he has featured. His assist in the opening game against Malawi was crucial but he has not had any attacking return since that game.

Musa Barrow on the other hand squad from the spot in Gambia’s 1-1 draw with Mali while he also played a role in helping his country beat Tunisia to finish top. With three-goal involvements in his first three games in the competitions, Barrow is definitely a player to keep an eye on. It will be the battle of which player turns up for his country in attack to secure a quarter-final berth.

ILAIX MORIBA vs SULAYMAN MARREH

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Looking at it from the perspective of popularity, Moriba stands out top ahead of Marreh. However, this tournament has shown that football is far from just the big names. Moriba has aside the opener, has played in all of Guinea’s games and he will look to orchestrate the midfield against Gambia.

Marreh on the other side proved vital for Gambia in the last game he featured. The Gent midfielder could be the answer to the Scorpions winning the midfield battle against Guinea. A lot will have to go into it though as Guinea prefer to play with a middle four compared to Gambia’s three in the middle.

Considering the surprising results in the first two games of this stage, Gambia will obviously give themselves a good chance against Syli Nations.

MUST READ: Guinea vs Gambia – Match Preview | AFCON 2021

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