Senegal vs Tanzania Preview

The Lions of Teranga captain Mane

The Lions of Teranga are expected to hit the ground running in their opening Group C encounter as they face a Tanzanian team coached by one of Africa’s fast-paced wingers in Emmanuel Amuneke. Senegal are amongst the tournament favourites and their stars will want to make a statement in this opening match against a team who last appeared in an AFCON tournament 39 years ago. Can Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly and head coach Aliou Cisse surpass the class of 2001 which finished runners-up with the likes of El Hadji Diouf and Henri Camara lead by Bruno Metsu?


AFCON 2019 
Senegal vs Tanzania  
Sunday 23 June 
30 June Stadium   
19:00


To Win 
Senegal 3/10
Draw 36/10
Tanzania 19/2

Senegal

The Lions of Teranga are back in search of their maiden AFCON title, and so is their hero. After his fantastic performance in the Champions League, Sadio Mane is back to tie boots for his country. Senegal topped their group in the qualifiers, competing with the likes of Madagascar, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan. Mane and co will be hoping to lift the Nations Cup title, to complement their stellar performance in last year’s FIFA World Cup.

Alious Cisse’s men claimed four points in three group stage matches against Poland, Japan and Colombia last year in Russia. Senegal are obviously massive favourites for this encounter because of a much wider range of high-profile players in their ranks. 

The Lions of Teranga qualified unbeaten for this tournament, conceding only two and scoring 12 goals. Surprisingly, Liverpool’s star and team captain Mane didn’t score a single goal in the qualifiers but the 27-year-old forward can never be underestimated. 

The Senegalese possess a similar talent to the 2001 side which finished runners-up, with Mane leading the line in a manner El Hadji Diouf did back then. The current head coach Cisse was an important part of that squad in the center of the park and his experience at the 2001 tournament could be of a huge help now that he leads the team from the bench.

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Tanzania

The Taifa stars thrashed Uganda 3-0 in their last qualifying match to book a spot in this tournament and mark their return to Africa’s biggest stage after 39 years of waiting. For that achievement, Tanzanian president John Magufuli gifted the national team players with parcels of land as a token. 

Coached by former Nigerian international Emmanuel Amunike, Tanzania ended the qualifying process with eight points in in Group L behind table-toppers Uganda who had 13 points. 

Amunike’s men are only effective on home soil, they have been poor when playing outside Tanzania. In fact, since 2015, the Taifa Stars have won just once on the road beating Bafana Bafana 1-0 in a friendly match in 2017. 

Tanzania could not pass the second stage of the WQC Qualification where they’ve suffered a demolishing elimination to Algeria (9-2 on aggregate, 7-0 loss on the road). They were also very disappointing in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in 2017 where they lost each of three games to the sides of Zanzibar, Rwanda and Kenya. 
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Prediction: Senegal Win Both Halves (39/20)
Tanzania just don’t have quality to match Senegal and I can’t back anything else but a comprehensive victory for the Lions of Teranga. Also, since Senegal’s defensive line has proven to be rock solid during the qualifications, I will punt on the Senegalese to win Both Halves. 

Written by Banele Pikwa

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