Sunderland midfielder set for Spurs return after African Cup of Nations exit

Sunderland boss David Moyes is set to be handed a much needed selection boost when high-flying Spurs visit a week on Tuesday.

Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 7:52 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd January 2017, 7:57 pm
Ndong's side have been dumped out in the group stages

Didier Ndong is likely to be available to play after Gabon were dumped out of the African Cup of Nations group stages on Sunday night.

The 22-year-old was inches away from being the hero, forcing an outstanding save on the rebound in stoppage time after his team-mate crashed an effort off the post.

A 0-0 draw with Cameroon was not enough to see the host nation through to the knockout rounds, after also drawing their previous ties with Guinea-Bissau and Burkino Faso.

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It has been a disappointing competition for the hosts, the tournament set across a backdrop of widespread disillusionment and apathy. Talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to fire, missing a glorious opportunity to put them ahead in the vital game with Cameroon.

Ndong has largely been recognised as one of the better performers in the squad, but it never looked like being enough to see them through in the final game.

For David Moyes, however, it could help give him the much needed 'competition' in his squad that he has been craving in recent weeks. With Victor Anichebe back from injury, he has the chance to return to the template that saw some encouraging home results towards the end of 2016.

Wahbi Khazri's Tunisia are in action on Monday night, well placed to advanced to the knockout phase. Lamine Kone's Ivory Coast play their final group game on Tuesday but are in real danger of missing out.

The quarter-finals of the tournament will be played on the 28th and 29th of January, with Spurs visiting the Stadium of Light on the 31st.

The Black Cats then play a crucial Premier League relegation clash with Crystal Palace on February 4th, the same weekend that the AFCON semi-finals will be played.