"I Don't Want to Go Home!" - Riyad Mahrez Keen to Avoid Early Manchester City Return Ahead of Must-Win Africa Cup of Nations Tie


Mahrez has been in sensational form for the Premier League champions since the start of the campaign, with the former Leicester City star often coming up with the goods in front of goal in the absence of a natural striker in the first-team ranks at the Etihad Stadium.

The 30-year-old, who has bagged 13 goals and five assists in 25 appearances across all competitions since August, has been away with the Algeria National Team for the Africa Cup of Nations for the past two weeks, having missed Manchester City's recent wins over Swindon Town and Chelsea.

However, things haven't gone as planned for the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions, who have claimed just one point from their opening two group-stage ties and are yet to find the back of the net ahead of a must-win clash against Ivory Coast on Thursday.

“I do not want to lose and go home. I believe in qualification. I cannot tell you that we will win, but I guarantee you that we will do everything for it," said the Algeria skipper ahead of the game, as quoted by African Football.

“It will be an open game with two teams wanting to win, (I am) hoping we win. I am confident and hope to stay here (at the Africa Cup of Nations) longer.”

Algeria's fate will also depend on how proceedings unravel in the upcoming meeting between Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea in their group, which means luck will play its part if the defending champions are to surrender their crown and seal a premature exit.

Manchester City will hope to continue their incredible winning streak in the Premier League when they travel down south to face Southampton at St. Mary's on Saturday afternoon, as the Sky Blues look to further strengthen their footing in the title race.

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