Friday 21 Jun
Updated Friday 21 Jun 11:00
First Team

Masuaku set for Africa Cup of Nations debut

Arthur Masuaku

West Ham United’s Arthur Masuaku is set for his major international tournament debut when the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) gets underway this weekend.

Masuaku has been selected in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s squad for Africa’s continental championships, which take place in Egypt over the next four weeks.

The host country and favourites kick-off the tournament on Friday night in a clash with outsiders Zimbabwe, with Masuaku and DR Congo starting their campaign on Saturday in the same Group A.

The Leopards begin by taking on Uganda and Florent Ibenge’s side will be looking to better their run to the quarter-finals in the last AFCON two years ago.

25-year-old Masuaku netted his first DR Congo goal in their warm-up 1-1 draw with Kenya last weekend, and has three caps for his country to his name.

The Leopards have named two other England-based players in their 23-man squad – Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga and Birmingham City’s midfielder Jacques Maghoma.

Following their opener against Uganda, they will take on Egypt on Wednesday before the group stage comes to a conclusion four days later against Zimbabwe. All three fixtures will be played in Cairo.

Sixteen of the 24 qualified nations will progress to the knockout phases, with the tournament culminating in the final at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday 19 July.