The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is nearing the end of its qualifiers. So far, qualifying has been brutal. If anything, it has shown the challenges of performing in Africa compared to other regions and those major tournaments.

Games left in AFCON qualifiers

Multiple packed games bring high stakes with several star players and intense emotions. There are still 16 spots up for grabs going into a crucial round of fixtures for African nations. The AFCON Qualifying TV schedule shows you can watch these games on beIN SPORTS’ outlets.

South Africa will face Morocco on Saturday in a battle of traditional powers. Both have already qualified for AFCON. Regardless, it shouldn’t stop many stars from taking the pitch. On the South African side, players like Minnesota United’s Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Al Ahly’s Percy Tau should start. Expect Europa League winners Bono and Youssef En-Nesyri and world-class talents like Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, Sofyan Amrabat and Noussair Mazraoui to start for Morocco in an explosive game.

Algeria’s away game against Uganda will also be very exciting. Algeria steamrolled through its competition. Along the way, it scored seven and conceded just one en route to four wins in four qualifiers for AFCON 2023. By comparison, Uganda has looked average, taking a win, a draw and two losses in their four games. They sit in third behind Tanzania due to tiebreakers. A win against Algeria would not only be huge in their conquest to get to the Ivory Coast, but it would be a major upset.

Algeria boasts talents like City winger Riyad Mahrez, West Ham’s Saïd Benrahma, Dortmund’s Bensebaïni and Roma’s Houssem Aouar. Although Uganda may not have a star player, Vipers striker Milton Karisa is still a dangerous player Algeria should be careful of.

Players to watch

Victor Osimhen is arguably one of Europe’s top 5 strikers as he led Napoli to a long-awaited Scudetto. His heading is elite, and it helps he’s a strong finisher and a perfect number nine. Bayern, Manchester United and Chelsea all want the Nigerian striker as the market opens up. Osimhen, who has five goals in four total games, will likely start against Sierra Leone.

Isma Mugulusi plays in Greek’s second tier with Makedonikos FC, but he can be better than anyone on this list. Ugandan coach Micho Sredojević privately said he could be Africa’s Kevin de Bruyne, and the comparison isn’t hard to see. He’s a great passer who’s also athletic and has great technique. Even if he doesn’t play against Algeria, look out for him to make a splash in the next two years or so.

Ronwen Williams is one of Africa’s best keepers, and he’s been praised for furthering the sweeper-keeper movement despite playing outside of Europe. Williams is not just an excellent keeper, but he’s comfortable with the ball at his feet and has the vision to put the ball into the final third without any problems. Sundowns’ shoeshine and piano playstyle has made Williams arguably the best goalkeeper playing in Africa, and he can show his skills on a global stage against Morocco.

The full list of fixtures, including the ones that are not on US TV, can be found here.