As Matchday 1 of AFCON Fantasy football comes to a close, we will be discussing the lessons learned so far, competition expectation, physical intensity of AFCON, penalties, defenders on the radar and injury updates, along with the assets to bring on your wildcard chip.
Lessons Learnt in AFCON Fantasy
One major lesson we learned was how set-pieces are important in AFCON. Especially how crucial the penalty takers are in maximizing points in our teams as we witnessed five penalties so far in the first matchday of the competition. Vincent Aboubakar (12 pts) and Sadio Mané (13 pts) are a testament to this. Therefore, it is advised to sign as many penalty takers as you can bring in to get that advantage over your mini-league rivals. Below is a thread on penalty takers for each nation in the AFCON.
Pen-Taker for each #Afcon Team Part 1:
🇩🇿: Riyad Mahrez – MID – 13.0
🇧🇫: Issoufo Dayo – DEF – 5.0
🇨🇻: Julio Tavares – FWD – 5.5
🇨🇲:Vincent Aboubakar – FWD – 8.5
🇰🇲: Faïz Selemani – MID – 5.5
🇨🇮: Franck Kessié – MID – 7.0
🇪🇬: Mo Salah – MID – 13.0
🇬🇶: Emilio Nsue – MID – 6.0
— J⚽️🅰️⚽️ (@FPL_Joao) January 4, 2022
Another lesson learned is that due to the intense physical nature of the competition from a good number of teams, there have not been many big scoring games but just a 1-0 scoreline in about eight games that had the same result. This makes investing in defence just as important as investing in the forwards as defenders are awarded an extra point for duels won, interceptions, tackles, etc.
A few defenders on my radar are:
- Romain Saïss (€6M) – The Moroccan captain won a lot of duels against Ghana, scoring seven points.
- Ramy Bensbaini (€6.5M) – The Algerian wingback scored seven points against Sierra leone and was very impactful throughout the game.
- Ola Aina (€6M) – The Nigerian wingback won eight duels against Egypt, collecting a total of nine points in the win.
AFCON Injury News
I noticed that a few managers were unaware of the recent injury news, so I will post the little info I got up to speed with.
- El Kaabi and Barkok tested negative for Covid-19 and will be available, whereas Mmaee and Youssef En-Nesyri are back and in training.
* Chair back in full training
* En-Nesyri nearing full fitness
* El Kaabi & Barkok’s latest test result is (-)
* Ryan Mmaee may have recovered from his left ankle injury & could possibly resume training tomorrow
source @Izemanass @MaghribFoot @dmsportofficiel
— AFCON Robbie 🇳🇱 🇮🇩 (@robmangunsong) January 12, 2022
- Burkina Faso’s captain Bertrand Traore recently tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the next game against Cape Verde.
Update: Burkina Faso 🇧🇫
Bertrand Traoré tests positive for Covid. They play #TeamCapeVerde tomorrow (he can’t make it) and #TeamEthiopia (very doubtful).
His tournament could be over. #JoySports #AFCONwithGary pic.twitter.com/hlwpfE8i0L
— Gary Al-Smith (@garyalsmith) January 12, 2022
- Ghana’s captain Andre Ayew will not be available for the next game against Gabon.
Update: Ghana 🇬🇭
Captain @AyewAndre not training today.
• He was unwell even before the Morocco defeat.
• He’s under observation after the head injury sustained.
More on @JoySportsGH#AFCONwithGary
🎥 @Images_Image pic.twitter.com/qghuaKUMaX
— Gary Al-Smith (@garyalsmith) January 12, 2022
- Ismaila Sarr is still out for 2-3 weeks, so he won’t be in contention for the group stages.
🚨🇸🇳 Ismaïla Sarr has made a “positive” progress in his rehabilitation.
He is expected to join up with their training camp in Cameroon, if Senegal are not knocked out within the next two weeks. pic.twitter.com/RNlJ9cwMck
— African Insider #AFCON2021 🏆 (@African_Insider) January 12, 2022
AFCON Fantasy Wildcard Strategy
For managers who are interested in activating their wildcard chip, below is a list of teams and players in each group to target:
📝 Team to target: Cameroon
🏆 Best players in AFCON fantasy: Vincent Aboubakar (€8.6M), Moumi Ngamaleu (€8.5M), Collins Fai (€5.5M) and Karl Toko Ekambi (€10.5M)
📆 Next fixture: Ethiopia
📝 Team to target: Senegal
🏆 Best players in AFCON fantasy: Sadio Mané (€11.5M), Abdou Diallo (€5M) and Cheikhou Kouyaté (€5.5M)
📆 Next fixture: Guinea
📝 Team to target: Morocco
🏆 Best players in AFCON fantasy: Ayoub El Kaabi (€8M), Achraf Hakimi (€7M) and Romain Saïss (€6M)
📆 Next fixture: Comoros
📝 Teams to target: Nigeria and Egypt
🏆 Best players in AFCON fantasy: Kelechi Iheanacho (€11M), Joe Aribo (€5.5M), Maduka Okoye (€5M), Ola Aina (€6M), Mohamed Salah (€13M) and Mohammed El Shenawy (€6M)
📆 Next fixtures: Nigeria vs. Sudan and Egypt vs. Guinea-Bissau
📝 Teams to target: Algeria and Ivory Coast
🏆 Best players in AFCON fantasy: Riyad Mahrez (€12M), Youcef Belaïli (€7.5M), Ramy Bensbaini (€6.5M), Youcef Atal (€6M), Sébastien Haller (€11.5M), Max-Alain Gradel (€6.5M) and Serge Aurier (€6M)
📆 Next fixtures: Algeria vs. Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast vs. Sierra Leone
📝 Teams to target: Tunisia and Mali
🏆 Players to target: Wahbi Khazri (€8M), Ellyes Skhiri (€5M), Moussa Djenepo (€7M) and Ibrahima Koné (€6M)
📆 Next fixtures: Tunisia vs. Mauritania and Mali vs Gambia
AFCON Fantasy Budget Players
In case you need a cheap asset to bring in. Below is a list of players to consider:
Maurice Gomis – €4.5M (Guinea Bissau)
Ibrahim Mounkoro – €4.5M (Mali)
Mohamed Kamara – €4.5M (Sierra Leone)
Johann Obiang – €4.5M (Gabon)
Abdou Diallo – €5M (Senegal)
Stopira – €4.5M (Cape Verde)
Ellyes Skhiri – €5M (Tunisia)
Joe Aribo – €5.5M (Nigeria)
Imrân Louza – €5.5M (Morocco)
Ibrahima Koné – €6.1M (Mali)
Júlio Tavares – €5.5M (Cape Verde)
Prince Dube – €4.5M (Zimbabwe)
In summary, Matchday 1 had a relatively slow start, with most teams playing cautiously. However, this situation will not remain the same as we proceed further into the competition. Teams like Ghana and Algeria will look for their first win and try to score more goals. That brings me to the end of this preview article. Matchday 2 is packed with a lot of action to come but remember to still enjoy the competition as a viewer. Please like and share this article for other AFCON Fantasy Managers to read. Cheers!
You can find additional AFCON 2021 Fantasy resources here.
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