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Guinea look to get back to winning ways on Africa Cup of Nations return

Madagascar are in the finals for the first time.

Liverpool’s Naby Keita is Guinea’s star man (Nick Potts/PA)
Liverpool’s Naby Keita is Guinea’s star man (Nick Potts/PA)

Guinea return to the Africa Cup of Nations finals after missing out on the last edition in Gabon in 2017.

Paul Put’s team were unbeaten during qualification but come into the tournament without a win in their last six fixtures, including a 3-1 defeat to hosts Egypt in the last warm-up match.

“In the first half we performed well but the game became much harder and we failed to keep the draw,” Put told ONsport after the loss.

“We’ll try to avoid making mistakes from now on and we have to forget our loss against Egypt and fix our mistakes. There is no room for excuses.”

Star midfielder Naby Keita is included in the Guinea squad but his involvement may be limited as he is still struggling with a thigh injury and has not played for Liverpool since early May.

Group B opponents Madagascar, who Guinea face in Alexandria on Saturday, have qualified for the first time and just reaching the finals in Egypt is a huge achievement.

The Islanders, ranked 108th in the world, will be reliant on the likes of Charles Andriamahitsinoro and Faneva Ima if they are to give a good account of themselves.

PA

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