Lions, Stallions clash in epic Dakar battle

Lions, Stallions clash in epic Dakar battle
Senegal players dejected after loosing on penalties during the Afcon Quarter Final match between Senegal and Cameroon on the 28 January 2017 at Franceville , Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 16:00

Senegal and Burkina Faso will lock horns in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar on Saturday evening.

Kick-off is at 20h00 local time (22h00 CAT).

The Lions of Teranga will be desperate to get back to winning ways having suffered a 2-1 defeat to South Africa in their most recent Group D encounter. This following a 2-0 win over Cape Verde on home soil.

Senegal, though, will remain favourites to book their ticket to the world showpiece in Russia with the West African giants aiming to qualify for a first World Cup since the 2002 showpiece in Japan/South Korea where they reached the final eight.

Burkina Faso, though, will be no pushovers and followed a 1-1 draw against Bafana Bafana in Ouagadougou with a 2-0 win over Cape Verde in Praia.

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Liverpool star Sadio Mane is under no illusion of the importance of the upcoming back-to-back fixtures against The Stallions, with Head Coach Aliou Cissé also stressing the importance of the clash.

"We are aware of the expectations of the Senegalese public. I can tell them that we will not disappoint them," a confident Mane said.

Cissé added: "Burkina Faso is our direct opponent and we have to win this match and hope to continue on that trend as we aim book our ticket to the 2018 FIFA World Cup."

The reverse fixture will take place at the Stade du 4 Août next Tuesday, 5 September 2017.

Head-to-Head:

Games: 11
Senegal Wins: 4
Burkina Faso Wins: 2
Draws: 5

Goals for Senegal: 18
Goals for Burkina Faso: 11

Last Three Encounters:

07 Oct 2006 Burkina Faso v Senegal 1-0
08 Sep 2007 Senegal v Burkina Faso 5-1
21 May 2014 Burkina Faso v Senegal 1-1

Key Players:

With Abdou Abdou Razack Traore (injured) and Jonathan Pitroipa (not selected) absent from Burkina Faso's squad, head coach Paulo Duarte will be hoping that Aristide Bancé can come up with the goods once more.

As for Senegal, they welcome back both Mane and captain Cheikhou Kouyaté from injury with Keita Baldé Diao, who recently joined Monaco, to light up Dakar. Throw in the likes of Idrissa Gana Gueye and Kalidou Koulibaly, the Lions of Teranga are a force to be reckoned with.





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