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Africa Cup of Nations

Paul Put includes Naby Keita in Guinea’s final 23-man Afcon squad

1:07 am AEST 13/6/19
Naby Keita of Guinea
The Liverpool midfielder headlines the list of Syli Nationale players heading for the continental showpiece in Egypt

Guinea Coach, Paul Put has announced his final 23-man squad that will participate in the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt.

The squad includes their star man Naby Keita, who has just returned from a groin injury suffered in the first leg of Liverpool’s Uefa Champions League semi-final clash against Barcelona last month.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who had a slow start with the Reds, eventually came good from the knockout round of the Champions League.

The former RB Leipzig man was initially ruled out of the Afcon after the injury setback but, has continued working his way towards full fitness, arriving at the pre-tournament camp base in Marrakesh on Monday night.

The likes of Napoli’s Amadou Diawara and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Ibrahima Traore are also included in the list announced on Wednesday.

The two players axed from the preliminary squad are goalkeeper Moussa Camara and midfielder Abdoulaye Paye Camara, both of local Guinean outfit Horoya AC.

The Syli Nationale lost 1-0 to the Squirrels of Benin Republic on Tuesday evening, and are expected to depart for Egypt soon. They will play the Pharaohs in their final Afcon preparation game on June 16.

Despite losing 1-0 in their last two friendly games, Guinea remains strong favourites alongside of Nigeria to progress from Group B.

Coach Paul Put and his men will be hoping for an upturn in form before they battle Madagascar in their opening African Cup of Nations match on June 22 in the ancient city of Alexandria, with games against Nigeria and Burundi to follow on June 26 and June 30 respectively.

Final Squad

Goalkeepers: Naby Yattara (Excelsior, Reunion Island), Ibrahima Kone (Pau, France), Aly Keita (Ostersunds FK, Sweden).

Defenders: Fode Camara (Ajaccio, France), Issiaga Sylla (Toulouse, France), Ernest Seka (Nancy, France), Simon Falette (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Ousmane Sidibe (Beziers, France), Baissama Sankoh (Caen, France), Mikael Dyrestream (AO Xanthi FC, Sweden), Julian Jeanvier (Brentford, England).

Midfielders:  Amadou Diawara (Napoli Italy), Ibrahima Cisse (Fulham, England), Boubacar Fofana (Gaz Metan, Romania), Naby Keita (Liverpool, England), Mady Camara (Olympiakos, Greece)

Forwards:  François Kamano (Bordeaux, France), Mohamed Yattara (Auxerre, France), Ibrahima Traore (Borussia M'Gladbach, Germany), José Kante (Gimnastic Tarragona, Spain), Idrissa Sylla (Zulte Waregem, Belgium), Fode Koita (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Sory Kaba (Dijon, France)