Europa League: Ranking Africa’s contenders

Aubameyang, Chukwueze, Diallo, Kudus
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Which of the continent’s stars are still standing in the UEL?

  1. Dinamo Zagreb
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    #8 Dinamo Zagreb

    The Croatian side are the rank outsiders in the competition, but after coming back to stun Tottenham Hotspur in the last round, they can’t be discounted.

    Nigerian midfielder Iyayi Atiemwen has featured six times from the bench in Europe this season, scoring twice and weighing in with an assist.

  2. Granada
    Tom Dulat

    #7 Granada

    Once of West Ham United, Domingos Quina is currently on loan at Granada from sister club Watford.

    The midfielder, who was born in Guinea-Bissau, has represented Portugal up to U-21 level but is yet to truly the potential he demonstrated as a wonderkid earlier in his career.

    Ghana’s Kingsley Fobi and Yan Eteki of Cameroon have also featured for Granada this season, but the Spanish side have their work cut out to oust Manchester United.

  3. Slavia Prague
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    #6 Slavia Prague

    Nigeria’s Peter Olayinka could be one to watch this week as Slavia go away to Arsenal.

    They’ll be up against it, but the Nigerian frontman has had a hand in five goals in nine Europa League games this season, and will be a handful.

    Centre-back Simon Deli, effective in possession with a talented left foot, will be tested against the Gunners’ talented forwards should he feature.

  4. AS Roma
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    #5 AS Roma

    Still only 23, midfielder Amadou Diawara already has considerable experience under his belt, even though he hasn’t had the best of times this season in Serie A.

    He still struggles for consistency, although an excellent showing against Fiorentina last month was a reminder of his qualities.

    Roma face a tough assignment against Ajax on Thursday.

  5. Ajax
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    #4 Ajax

    The Dutch giants, of course, are without goalkeeper Andre Onana as he continues with his suspension, although there’s still plenty of African interest at the Dutch giants.

    They’ve been impressive so far in the competition—defeating LOSC Lille and Young Boys—and will fancy their chances of reaching the semis.

    Noussair Mazraoui is only returning to fitness following ahead injury, while Sebastien Haller—the club’s record signing—cannot feature after the club failed to register him for the competition.

    Mohammed Kudus is an option from the bench for the Dutch giants, while Zakaria Labyad could also feature for Ajax.

  6. Villarreal
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    #3 Villarreal

    Introduced in Villarreal’s victory over Granada at the weekend, Samuel Chukwueze will be desperate to end the season with some silverware.

    It may compensate for what has been something of an underwhelming campaign for the wideman; he’s had a hand in just six goals across domestic and continental competition this term, and doubts persist about his end product.

  7. Arsenal
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    #2 Arsenal

    The Gunners are one of several sides still standing in the Europa League who are in the midst of a tricky campaign.

    They entered the season with such optimism following FA Cup and Charity Cup successes, but things haven’t quite panned out under Mikel Arteta.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains a potential game-winner, although he has shown it too rarely this term, while Thomas Partey and Nicolas Pepe are still to live up to big billings upon their arrivals.

    Mohamed Elneny and Eddie Nketiah could also feature.

  8. Manchester United
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    #1 Manchester United

    The favourites for the Europa League, United have the pedigree and the quality to go the distance.

    Odion Ighalo may have departed, but there’s still African interest in the form of Ivorian duo Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo.

    However, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has indicated that the wonderkid could make his first start for the club, Bailly is still stranded in the Ivory Coast.

    He tested positive for coronavirus during the international break, and has not yet been permitted to return to England.