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Afcon Group B Preview: Senegal’s Terenga Lions go in hunt for first title

Afcon Group B Preview: Senegal’s Terenga Lions go in hunt for first title

West African giants Senegal and Guinea will have to cope with the tenacious COSAFA duo of Zimbabwe and Malawi in Group B of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021.

It will certainly be no walk in the park for the two favorites in Guinea and Senegal as they will have to earn their way out of this Group.

Match Day one in Group B sees Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium host Senegal vs Zimbabwe on Monday 10 January, at 4pm EAT while Guinea face Malawi at 7pm EAT.

Senegal vs Zimbabwe (Monday, 10 January, 2022) 4:00 pm EAT

Senegal have made 16 appearances at the AFCON with no trophy to their name losing twice in the finals in 2002 and 2019.

The Teranga Lions missed out on Gold in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 losing by a freak solitary goal in the final to Algeria.

Led by Liverpool star Sadio Mane, Senegal will be hoping for a different outcome in Cameroon but first they have to negotiate past Zimbabwe in their opening fixture.

Coach Aliou Cisse has selected 27 players for the tournament in Cameroon headlined by Premier League stars Edouard Mendy of Chelsea, Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Chiekhou Kouyate of Crystal Palace. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly are also in the squad.

Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza named a severely weakened 30-man national team squad missing several key players.

Mapeza’s options have been severely limited following the retirement of South Africa-based star Khama Billiat, the absence of Tendayi Darikwa and injuries to Marshal Munetsi, Marvelous Nakamba and recently capped defender Brendan Galloway who were expected to form the spine of the Afcon squad.

The Warriors have only made 5 appearances at the AFCON and have never made it past the Group stages. Zimbabwe will be hoping to defy all odds and man an appearance in the knockout stages.

Guinea vs Malawi (Monday 10 January, 2022) 7:00 pm EAT

Guinea open their campaign at the tournament against Malawi at the Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium.

Syli National boss Kaba Diawara will heavily depend on the experience of Liverpool star Naby Keita to lead the team to glory.

Guinea suffered a setback with defenders Antoine Conte and Florentin Pogba withdrawing from the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations finals on Sunday due to injury.

Guinea have been regular campaigners at the AFCON making 13 appearances with their best performance coming in 1976 edition when they were runners up to Morocco.

The Flames of Malawi come into the tournament in with so little experience having made only 3 appearances. In those appearances they have failed to make it past the Group stages.

Gabadinho Mhango of Orlando Pirates is expected to be man to lead Malawi’s attack in Cameroon. Malawi national team coach Meke Mwase is currently overseeing a 10-day camp in Saudi Arabia and is expected to announce his final squad that will fly to Cameroon.

GROUP B – MATCH DAY ONE FIXTURES

Monday, 10 January, 2022

Senegal vs Zimbabwe – 4:00pm EAT ( Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium)

Guinea vs Malawi – 7:00pm EAT (Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium)

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