Africans to watch this weekend

Sadio Mane Bayern Munich 2022-23Getty

Arsenal and Manchester City have set the pace in the Premier League but Sunday’s big clash against Liverpool - where numerous Africans are involved - will likely test the Gunners' mettle.

In Germany, Sadio Mane will get his first taste of the Der Klassiker when Bayern Munich visit Borussia Dortmund with a win likely to return the Bavarians back to the summit as Mohammed Kudus aims to maintain his rich vein of form when Ajax seek a return to winning ways after the Champions League humbling by Napoli in midweek.

  • Sadio Mane FC Bayern 2022Getty Images

    Sadio Mane

    Senegal forward Mane silenced his doubters with a dominant display against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League with a goal and assist and could have scored more.

    That was his first goal in Europe for his new side, coming after he had ended his six-game goal drought against Bayer Leverkusen last week.

    Mane gained a reputation as a big-game player during his time at Liverpool and it does not come bigger than Saturday’s opponents Borussia Dortmund when the African Player of the Year will have his first taste of Der Klassiker.

    Another dominant performance will erase any lingering doubts about his suitability to Bayern’s style as it had started to emerge recently.

  • Thomas ParteyGetty

    Thomas Partey

    Voted as Arsenal fans’ Man of the Match in last Saturday’s North London derby, another top performance will be expected from the Ghana midfield enforcer when Liverpool visit the Emirates Stadium.

    Partey put in a great shift while also scoring a stunning goal to open the scoring against Tottenham Hotspur and with Liverpool currently struggling, it would not be a surprise if he dominates the midfield again.

    The Ghana international started on the bench in Thursday’s Europa League tie against Bodo/Glimt as Mikel Arteta tried to manage him given how injury-prone he has become of late but a fit Partey will be crucial to Arsenal making it eight wins in nine games and maintaining their top spot on the table.

  • Mohamed Salah Liverpool Ajax 2022-23Getty Images

    Mohamed Salah

    While Partey and Arsenal are flying, Egyptian forward Salah and his Liverpool teammates are struggling. Liverpool, who lost out on last season’s title by just one point, are already 11 behind the leaders as they lie seventh after winning just two of their seven games.

    What is more worrying is that their talisman Salah, last season’s golden boot winner, has only scored twice, his last in the league coming during the Red’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on August 22.

    While he has three assists and two more goals in the Champions League, this is not Salah’s standards and he has a chance to right those wrongs against Arsenal, a team he has netted seven times against.

  • Pierre-Emerick AubameyangGetty

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    The Gabon forward seems to have started settling into his new team Chelsea after opening his Premier League and Champions League accounts for the Blues in the last two games.

    Aubameyang moved to Chelsea while in destress after the burglary in his Barcelona home but he seems to have put that behind given his displays against Crystal Palace and AC Milan.

    The Blues host Wolverhampton Wanderers who sacked manager Bruno Lage last week and with confidence low, they could be the perfect opponent for the former Arsenal captain to continue his scoring run.

  • Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa Getty

    Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa

    Currently the best midfielder in Serie A, if not in Europe, the Cameroon international has taken his game to another level this season.

    Napoli are top of Serie A and top of their Champions League group that has Liverpool and Ajax and that is down to just how good Zambo Anguissa has been.

    The defensive midfielder has added another dimension to his game in 2022-23 and now does not just sit in front of the defence but makes driving runs forward which have yielded three goals and five assists in all competitions.

    That includes a goal against Liverpool and two assists against Ajax and with a visit to second-from-bottom Cremonese next on Sunday, all eyes will be on the Cameroonian as Napoli seek to maintain their unbeaten start to the season by winning their seventh game in nine to stay top of the table.

  • Mohammed KudusGetty

    Mohammed Kudus

    Ajax are still smarting from the 6-1 humbling at home to Napoli and while all players left the pitch in shame, the Ghanaian had some credit having scored their only goal.

    It was the eighth goal for Kudus this season, already more than his last two seasons combined, and as Ajax visit basement side FC Volendam on Saturday, it’s another opportunity to add onto his tally.

    After putting together six straight wins, Ajax have stumbled in the last two matches, losing one and drawing the other, to slip to second on the table and they cannot afford another reverse with rivals PSV Eindhoven just a point behind while AZ Alkmaar lead the standings by the same margin.

  • Inaki Williams on target for Athletic Club against Almeria.Getty.

    Inaki Williams

    The Ghana forward extended his incredible La Liga appearance record to 230 consecutive league matches for Athletic Bilbao as they beat Almeria 4-0 last week and also scored his third goal of the season.

    On a day his brother Nico also scored, it was his second straight goal this season and also the second time the two were on the score sheet in the same match.

    With Athletic taking on struggling Sevilla on Saturday, the high-flying Basque side have a chance to go level on points, albeit briefly, with Barcelona and Real Madrid and Williams will likely have a say on the final outcome.