With both UEFA World Cup qualifiers finishing goalless yesterday, it was left to the African Cup of Nations games to provide the goals. Here’s a brief update of the main protagonists, with a little injury news also thrown in:
Emmanuel Adebayor was on the score sheet for Togo in a 1-1 draw away to Gabon, while Victor Moses provided an assist in Nigeria’s 2-2 draw with Liberia. The Chelsea new boy was brought down in the box, allowing Ikechukwu Uche the chance to slot home from the spot.
Ivory Coast’s 4-2 win over Senegal saw a trio of domestic players produce the goods. Gervinho and Yaya Toure provided two assists apiece for the hosts, with the former also finding the net once, while Papiss Cisse returned an assist and a 25-yard headed goal.
In Other News
Sergio Aguero is set to fly back to City to continue treatment on his knee injury after he was ruled out of Argentina’s game with Peru on Tuesday. He took to twitter to admit:
It seems I won’t be able to make it to the Peru match – but the effort was still worth it. I’ll continue the recovery work at Manchester. Rooting for to the guys for the Peru match, I hope I can join them next time. Returning to @MCFC now to ready for the upcoming challenge.
Although Mancini has hoped Aguero will be fit for Gameweek 4, City face a real physical battle against Stoke at the Britannia. It’s perhaps the type of game the City boss will be happy to continue with Edin Dzeko alongside Carlos Tevez – the Bosnian has netted twice already for his side and bagged a hat-trick for his country in an 8-1 win over Liechtenstein on Friday.
Phil Jones is set to spend another spell on the sidelines after picking up a knee problem in training, according to the club’s official website:
Phil Jones has had surgery on a knee meniscus tear sustained in training that will require six to eight weeks of rehabilitation.
The former Blackburn man has yet to feature this season for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side due to a back problem and with Chris Smalling still unavailable, Rafael remains the club’s only natural right-back. Certainly, the Brazilian looks nailed-on to start the Gameweek 4 home clash against Wigan and could profit from the pair’s absence but, with United (liv, TOT, new) to follow, his frailty at the back may see Antonio Valencia come back into consideration in defence. The Ecuadorian got the nod for the Gameweek 1 trip to Everton and could well be asked to return to the role as Ferguson looks to tighten up a backline that has yet to return a single clean sheet.
Ashley Cole has been ruled out of England’s match with Ukraine on Tuesday, with the news casting concerns over his availability for Chelsea’s Gameweek 4 trip to QPR. The left-back also missed Friday night’s win in Moldova and with the FA also revealing John Terry continues to be a doubt with a twisted ankle, the defensive worries are starting to rack up for Roberto Di Matteo. Cole’s possible absence could hand Ryan Bertrand another chance in the first XI, while David Luiz and Gary Cahill may be set to continue the partnership that returned a clean sheet against Newcastle in Gameweek 3. Di Matteo also has new right-back Cesar Azpilicueta to consider – a start for the signing from Marseille could see Branislav Ivanovic move into a central position.
Hungary have revealed Zoltan Gera was subbed off at half-time in Friday’s win over Andorra after picking up an Achilles knock. The West Brom midfielder – who has scored in his only appearances so far this term – netted a spot-kick in the 5-0 triumph before making way and is expected to sit out Tuesday’s match with Holland as a precautionary measure.
Micah Richards is hoping to return to light training for City before the end of the month. The right-back has yet to feature this term after picking up an ankle injury while representing Great Britain in the Olympics, though reports suggest a first-team comeback could be on the cards for mid-October. The purchase of Maicon from Inter, however, seems tailor-made for City’s recent flirtation with a 3-5-2 and with Pablo Zabaleta also firmly in the frame, Richards faces a real struggle to establish himself within Roberto Mancini’s starting lineup.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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“I am happy with the way I’ve started, but on the other hand, I should have scored four or five more, so that’s something for me to work on.”Robin Van Persie talks about his early form at United ahead of his first Manchester derby