Burkina Faso’s Lassina Traoré got on the score sheet last night for Ajax to keep up his recent goal-scoring fun.
The Burkinabe forward grabbed five goals in Ajax’s 13-0 win against Venlo in the Eredivisie at the weekend, but the Dutch giants must content themselves with a 2-2 draw at Atalanta after going 2-0 up in the first half. Traoré scored Ajax’s second goal with an instinctive poacher’s finish to enhance his reputation on the global stage.
There are eight matchday 2 fixtures tonight and some of the continent’s finest emerging stars will take their respective places in starting XIs around Europe.
Senegal’s Edouard Mendy will be in between the sticks for Chelsea against Krasnodar after keeping three consecutive clean sheets across all competitions for the Blues, including an impressive shutout against Europa League champions Sevilla on matchday 1. He’ll be eyeing out a fourth in Russia against Krasnodar.
Remember Demba Ba? The ex-Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham, Hoffenheim, Besiktas & Shanghai Shenhua striker (among others) won the Premier League player of the month award in December 2011. Now the big Senegalese forward plies his trade at İstanbul Başakşehir. If the Turkish side can spring an almighty surprise against PSG, Ba might be the man to provide the spark.
Club Brugge vs Lazio has plenty of African interest with the Belgian side likely to name Senegalese attacker Krépin Diatta, Ivorian defender Odilon Kossounou and Emmanuel Dennis in their starting XI. Nigerian striker Dennis scored on matchday 1 against Zenit to kickstart Brugge to a dramatic and priceless victory on matchday 1.
Sevilla vs Rennes will see a goalkeeping duel between Morocco’s Yassine Bounou and Senegal’s Alfred Gomis. Rennes will also likely call upon 28-year-old Malian fullback Hamari Traore to combat the ever-present threat posed by Sevilla’s Lucas Ocampos. Morocco’s Nayef Aguerd is also a regular fixture in the Rennes backline and he’ll be a busy man without the protection of high-quality midfield duo of Steven Nzonzi and Eduardo Camavinga. The talented French schemers are both injured for the visitors, making their team’s task in Seville an even taller one. We should see what Aguerd is made of at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.