Eric Bailly.

How Bailly is managing to play against Egypt

Wednesday 26 January 2022 09:50

Eric Bailly is set to start for Ivory Coast in their big Africa Cup of Nations round-of-16 tie with Egypt.

The Manchester United defender suffered a head injury during the closing stages of the 2-2 draw against Sierra Leone, with the side conceding an injury-time equaliser in his absence.

It led to the centre-back being forced to sit out the impressive 3-1 win over Algeria that knocked the north African side out of the competition and set up the knockout tie with Mohamed Salah's Egypt.

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Coach Patrice Beaumelle said at a press conference previewing the game: "Eric will be there. He will play in somewhat like a rugby look, with a scrum cap, but he will be there.

"He has recovered well.

"The objective was to qualify and work to go as far as possible in this competition. An underdog status is fine with me, as long as we can be left alone for as long as possible."

Bailly will be desperate to help the Elephants eliminate the Pharoahs in one of the ties of the round, which kicks off at 16:00 GMT at the Stade Japoma in Cameroon.

The tournament has increased in excitement during this stage, with the quarter-final line-up close to completion.

Burkina Faso face Hannibal's Tunisia and Gambia meet hosts Cameroon. Ivory Coast or Egypt will take on Morocco, while Senegal await Mali or Equatorial Guinea.

Eric Djemba-Djemba is saddened by the events at the Olembe Stadium.

However, there is a shadow over the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations following the tragic events at the Olembe Stadium on Monday, when at least eight fans were killed and many more injured due to a crush at an entrance.

Former United midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba told Radio Five Live about the incident in his homeland: "It's heartbreaking. We were inside and suddenly we heard that people had died outside the stadium. It's the worst possible news because Cameroon did everything to play the tournament, the Africa Cup, in Cameroon.

"It was amazing. They did everything, they built the [country's] biggest-ever stadium and we see what happened in the end. It's very sad."