Senegal look to keep up perfect record in Group I

Senegal look to keep up perfect record in Group I
Aliou Cisse, coach of Senegal

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 10, 2020. 12:00

Senegal will aim to keep up their perfect record in Group I of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they host Guinea-Bissau at Stade Lat-Dior in Thies on the evening of Wednesday 11 November 2020, kick-off at 18h00.

Senegal come into the clash sitting at the top of the standings with a full haul of six points, having beaten Congo (2-0 at home) and Eswatini (4-1 away) in November 2019.

The Teranga Lions, though, were beaten 3-1 by Morocco in a friendly played last month and will need to shake off the cobwebs to ensure they keep on course to return to the AFCON in 2022.

Coach Aliou Cisse’s selection includes the heavy hitters such as Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly, but also other interesting picks, including a return for the first time since 2016 for Arial Mendy and new faces such as Moustapha Name and Franck Kanoute.

“The objective is to qualify for AFCON 2022, it is being prepared today while continuing in our guideline. But also bring new blood, quality and competition to the team,” explained Cisse.

He added, “The match against Morocco also gave us indications. We are in difficult times, we still have in some positions, boys who have difficulty finding significant playing time [at their clubs] to return to the national team.”

Guinea-Bissau find themselves in third on the Group I standings, with a 3-0 home win over Eswatini followed by a 3-0 loss away to Congo – with the latter game being their last outing, as they were inactive in the past two international breaks.

Djurtus coach Baciro Cande insists his side is not intimidated by facing one of the continent’s top teams in Senegal.

“It will be a matter of national pride, because we are also keen to take on Senegal, which remains a great football nation,” said Cande.

“It is a challenge for us to challenge them, but also to seek them out. Guinea-Bissau is rising more and more and trying to play its part in the elite of African football.”

The teams will meet again on November 15 in Bissau for the return game at Estadio 24 de Setembro.

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