A battle between Senegal teammates Kalidou Koulibaly and Sadio Mane will headline the second Matchday of the UEFA Champions League’s group stage, set to be played on the midweek of 2-3 October.
Napoli will play host to Liverpool in a Group C clash at Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday night, with the tussle between Koulibaly and Mane set to be a key factor in deciding the outcome. The game is also likely to feature Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah, and Guinean midfielders Amadou Diawara and Naby Keita.
Matchday Two gets underway early on Tuesday evening with Algerians Ishak Belfodil and Riyad Mahrez set to come up against one another when Hoffenheim host Manchester City, while Swiss side Young Boys – who boast several African players, such as Roger Assale and Moumi Ngamaleu – will play host to Italian giants Juventus (who will be without Cristiano Ronaldo following his controversial red card in Matchday One).
The night games feature a tough outing for Moroccans Hakim Ziyech and Noussair Mazraoui, as their Ajax team heads to Germany for a battle with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, while Ivorian Maxwel Cornet will look to get on the score sheet against when Olympique Lyon play host to Shakhtar Donetsk.
CSKA Moscow will entertain Champions League kings Real Madrid, Manchester United will look to overcome Valencia at Old Trafford, Roma face a must-win game at home to Viktoria Plzen, and Adel Taarabt’s Benfica will fancy their chances of an away win at AEK Athens.
Wednesday’s early kick-offs see Ghana striker Richmond Boakye leading the line for Red Star in their trip to Paris Saint-Germain, and Brian Idowu’s Lokomotiv Moscow are at home to a Schalke 04 side which can call on Baba Rahman, Hamza Mendyl, Salif Sane, Amine Harit and Nabil Bentaleb.
Other Africans set to see action on Wednesday night include Nigerian Emmanuel Dennis in Club Brugge’s tough trip to face Thomas Partey’s Atletico Madrid; Jean Aholou will feature in midfield for Monaco as they take on Borussia Dortmund at Signal-Iduna Park; and Serge Aurier and Victor Wanyama will hope to feature for Tottenham Hotspur in their high-profile clash at Wembley against Barcelona.
Kwadwo Asamoah and Keita Balde will look to guide Internazionale to a second win when they face PSV in Eindhoven, and the Porto v Galatasaray clash should see plenty of African stars on show, including the likes of Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Aboukabar, Henry Onyekuru and Badou N’Diaye.