Europa League: Five Africans, five challenges

Chancel Mbemba moins en forme doit relever la tête en Europa League
Europa League: Five Africans, five challenges

As it does every day in the Europa League, Sport News Africa highlights five African footballers who face challenges in the competition.

Chancel Mbemba, regaining his confidence

Huge last season until Tudor surprisingly decided to dispense with his services for a change of system, Chancel Mbemba has been far less reassuring since the start of the current campaign. A fortnight ago against Ajax, the Congolese defender made a series of blunders that proved fatal for OM, who had a dazzling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank for the 3-3 draw.

If the Phocéens' new coach Gennaro Gattuso maintains his faith in him, Chancel Mbemba will have to be much more convincing at the Velodrome on Thursday evening for Matchday 2. And prove that his slump is behind him. He'll need to do just that against Brighton. The English side may have suffered their worst Premier League defeat since Roberto de Zerbi took over the bench at the weekend (6-1 against Aston Villa), but they are capable of sublimating at the Velodrome and giving Marseille's defense a run for its money.

Nordin Amrabat, confirming his status as a luxury joker

Almost a year ago, the world discovered Sofyan Amrabat in Qatar, where he shone for Morocco in the World Cup and for Fiorentina in the Europa League Conference. But before him, there was Nordin Amrabat. He played for Watford, Galatasaray and Al Nassr (Saudi Arabia). At 36, the Moroccan striker continues to bring his goalscoring talent to AEK Athens as a luxury joker. He has two goals in three league games. Tonight, against Ajax Amsterdam, he certainly won't be starting. But the Moroccan is capable of coming on late in the game and proving decisive in a matter of minutes.

Mohamed Amoura: keeping up the pace

Mohamed Amoura is one of Belgium's finest summer signings.Mohamed Amoura, who arrived at the very end of the mercato from Lugano in Switzerland, is currently doing Union Saint-Gilloise a world of good. On the opening day, he got the Belgian club out of trouble with Toulouse by scoring a few minutes after coming on as a substitute. In the league too, he has scored 3 goals in 2 starts. Tonight, the Algerian striker will discover Liverpool's mythical Anfield stadium. No doubt USG fans will be expecting him to shine and maintain his good form.

Mohamed Amine Talal, shining in Europe

Every season, Sheriff Tiraspol boasts a legion of African players, many of them team leaders. This is the case again this year. Mohamed Amine Talal, a 27-year-old Moroccan midfielder, is one of the Moldovan champions' most decisive players. The former Bastia player has already found the net five times and provided 1 assist in 7 league games. He now needs to repeat this performance in the European Cup.Sheriff, beaten by AS Roma on the first day of the Europa League (1-2), travel to Slavia Prague, winners of Servette Genève two weeks ago (0-2).

Yannick Gomis to do as he did in the qualifiers

In qualifying for the Champions League and then the Europa League, Yannick Gomis scored 6 goals in 6 games for Aris Limassol this season. If the Cypriot champions are in the running for the C2, it's largely thanks to the former Senegalese international. The 31-year-old striker will need to be just as effective if he is to help his team through the group phase. Aris, who lost their opening game to Sparta Prague (2-3), host Glasgow Rangers this Thursday. Yannick Gomis will cross paths with his compatriot Abdallah Sima, who made a name for himself two years ago in the Europa League.

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