Date:Monday January 28 2008
It was feared that the African nations could see Pompey without their African contingent for around 4 or 5 weeks - but as it stands we could have all but 1 back in England by the start of next week - at the latest, with is quite possible that 2 - maybe all 3 - of the rest could be back in time to face Chelsea at the weekend!
Ironically enough though the player that we would most want back - in my opinion - is the only one that is guaranteed to be out in Ghana for the knockout stages, this man being Sulley Muntari, who scored again today as Ghana beat Morocco to finish well clear at the top of their group - and they look a very good bet to go all the way.
Kanu and John Utaka could be eliminated with Nigeria tomorrow night.
The Nigerian's must beat Benin to have any chance - but even then they might have to win heavily. Should Mali claim a point against the Ivory Coast no matter what Nigeria do they will be eliminated.
So by Wednesday morning Kanu and Utaka could be on their way back to the South Coast, but by the weekend Papa Bouba Diop will almost certainly be back, as Senegal look nailed on for elimination.
Senegal would have to beat South Africa heavily and hope that the game between Tunisia and Angola produces a winner - although with both sides only needing a point they might not exert themselves too much...
I reckon that Muntari will be away until the end of the tournament but Bouba Diop will almost certainly be back by the beginning of next week, quite possibly by the weekend.
At this point in time I think that Nigeria will be eliminated so Kanu - 'if fit' - and Utaka will probably be back in time to feature at the weekend - it could be possible for them all to get back in time if Nigeria and Senegal both get eliminated, but it could be asking a bit too much of Bouba Diop to play as he would only return on Friday...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Monday January 28 2008
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