I don’t really mind the expansion of the tournament. A total of 54 countries can attempt to qualify for the competition (obviously the host nation qualifies by proxy so 53). Only 24 do make it to the finals - less than half. It means that more nations have a shot, and are therefore more likely to put more effort into national football. Also means more money for the various football associations of the nations - overall it seeks to strengthen African football.
I don’t like the 24 to 16 however - they should just go straight to the last 8, or even go one step further and just do straight knockouts from start. The extra round just longs it out, which is not what we want part way through the season with three of our lads away for upto a month.
Senegal and Guinea in the same group - Mane v Naby coming up. Increases the chances of one of our lads coming home early. Would expect all three of Egypt, Senegal and Guinea make the knockouts.
I posted the below in the PL thread, however that thread becomes an in-match thread for non-Liverpool fixtures so it gets lost dead fast. Thought it useful to be here. I suspect there will be some fixture changes etc in the coming weeks…it might not even go ahead!
Also, our match against Chelsea is on 2 January, so we could be impacted there (as pointed out by @mattyhurst. If players are on a pre-tournament camp or have to do quarantining etc then that may be the case. AFCON kicks off on the 9 Jan. with Senegal and Guinea playing on the 10 Jan, and Egypt on the 11 Jan.
I can’t find any links but I know we were kind of confident we would have the African players for Chelsea before they flew out the next day, I assume Salah has enough influence to push that, and with his talk about winning trophies I am sure he would want the best for both his club and country.
I doubt they would have played anyhow, thing is if we do win the Q final Klopp is going have to manage Jota, Firmino, Ox, Origi and Minamino across those games and the two PL games, I assume we may see something similar to the Preston game, may even see that Blair lad get another run out.
I also note he had Neco up there for the final 10 in Milan so I assume he is thinking that as well.
But that could all be flipped on its head as Egyptian club Al Ahly are “lobbying the African football governing body to instead kick off AFCON on January 3” due to their involvement in the Club World Cup.