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AFCON 2019 Quarterfinals Preview: Senegal v Benin

Senegal will battle against Benin in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarterfinal encounter at 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Wednesday.

Senegal will battle against Benin in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarterfinal encounter at 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Wednesday.

Kick-off is at 18:00 hrs CAT.

Senegal sailed in the last eight after beating Uganda in the previous round. Sadio Mane’s effort in the 15th minute made the difference, although the Liverpool forward went on to miss a second-half penalty.

The Lions of Teranga, as they are commonly known, have been impressive keeping three clean sheets in four matches in the tournament.

Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse is looking to guide the Lions of Teranga to the AFCON semi-finals for the first time since the 2006 tournament in Egypt.

Cisse knows that the task ahead will not be easy given their status as the continent’s top-ranked team and the quality at his disposal.

“We won against a strong team. We scored a goal and defended many times against a strong opponent,” Said the Senegal boss, who added: “ We have to prepare for the next round which will be more difficult.”

A great band of players led by Ismail Sarr who turns for Rennes and former Newcastle ace Henri Saviet are set to feature in the game where they are expected to provide support for Mane at the front.

Ahead of the clash against Benin, Saviet, who is likely to be deployed in the no. 10 role, informed reporters that they expect a very difficult game.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] “No match will be easy. All the qualified teams will live up to the game. We have qualified and we are happy. The game against Benin will be difficult. We will have to watch their videos.”   [/perfectpullquote]

Cheikhou Kouyate is expected to fill in alongside Kalidou Koulibaly once more while Lamine Gassama and Youssouf Sabaly could start in the full-back roles.

Alfred Gomis will continue in goal while Keita Balde, Pape Moussa Konate and Mbaye Diagne remain attacking options off the bench.

Benin have reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in their history, causing a major upset when they knocked out Morocco on penalties.

Moise Adilehou’s first-half effort had been cancelled out by the North Africans for a 1-1 draw in regulation time before the Squirrels triumphed 4-1 in the penalty shootout.

Michel Dussuyer’s men have still never won an AFCON match in regulation time with eight defeats and five draws from 13 previous matches.

“We have wonderful players hungry to play and keen to win. Now that we have reached the quarter-finals, anything can happen,” said Dussuyer.

Benin will be without key defender Khaled Adenon, who was sent off in extra time against Morocco. Steve Mounie is set to return having missed the Round of 16 due to suspension while Mickael Pote is likely to continue in attack despite failing to score in his last three matches.

Senegal and Benin have met in six previous matches with Teranga Lions having claimed four wins compared to one for the Squirrels, while one game was drawn.

The teams’ most recent clash was a friendly in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) in January 2008 which Senegal won 2-1.

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