EPL star likely to miss AFCON with injury

Manchester United and Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly will miss the final two games of the season and possibly this year’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals after sustaining a knee injury on Sunday 28 April in United’s league encounter against Chelsea that ended in a 1-1 draw.

The 25 year old, injured his medial ligament in a collision with Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic during the second half of that game played at the Old Trafford Stadium.

Appearances

Capped 34 times by The Elephants, Bailly was expected to be part of Ibrahim Kamara’s squad for this year’s Nations Cup final in Egypt. He took part in the tournaments qualifiers and scored once in the 4-0 drubbing of CAR in October of 2018.

The goal was his first in his country’s colours.

Bailly made his debut for Ivory Coast in 2015 when then coach Herve Reinard called him up as the team prepared for that year’s AFCON finals, which they won.

Champions

The Elephants have won the AFCON championship twice; in 1992 and 2015 are among the favourites for the 2019 tournament after been drawn in Group D alongside Morocco, South Africa and Namibia.

Apart from Bailly, English Premier League players Wilfried Zaha currently playing for Crystal Palace and Aurier Serge playing for Tottenham Hotspur are among some of the high profile players who will be expected to feature in Egypt.

Senegal

Elsewhere, Senegalese Cheikh N’Doye underwent knee surgery and is doubtful to make the final squad for the tournament.

The 33-year old midfielder, currently on loan at French Ligue 1 club Angers from English Championship side Birmingham City, suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament injury during Senegal’s win over Mali in a friendly international in March.