Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Senegal vs Zimbabwe Preview

Senegal vs Zimbabwe Preview

Sadio Mane

The Lions of Teranga are hungry for success on the continental stage following disappointing previous campaigns but now look ready to pounce on this beautiful trophy with a strong showing in Cameroon. Coach Norman Mapeza’s Zimbabwe certainly have a stern test on their hands making for an intriguing contest.

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Africa Cup of Nations – Group B
Monday 10 January
Kouekong Stadium
15:00

To Win
Senegal 3/10
Draw 33/10
Zimbabwe 10/1

Senegal

Ten years ago, manager Aliou Cisse joined the Senegalese national team in an assistant coaching role and now proudly boasts 64 matches under his belt as head coach since taking over the reins in 2015.

The man who shared the dressing room with Nigerian icon Jay-Jay Okocha at Paris Saint-Germain will tie up his dreadlocks and put on his dapper suit as usual, but what he’s not accustomed to is heading into a major tournament with the pressure of being the team to beat with the heavy tag of favourites weighing down on his shoulders.

During the 2017 edition of AFCON in Gabon, Sadio Mane failed to convert his attempt in a penalty shoot-out (5-4) in the quarter-finals and were dumped out by the slimmest of margins to eventual champions Cameroon who were coached at Hugo Broos at the time.

While the previous tournament in 2019 saw Algeria narrowly defeat Senegal in the final in Cairo Stadium, Egypt, with a cruel deflected goal. Surely now is their time to reign supreme.

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was an integral part of the Blues’ resurgence under Thomas Tuchel last season and in my humble opinion has been the best in the world since making the move to London.

Napoli’s central defender Kalidou Koulibaly, coupled with Crystal Palace stalwart Cheikhou Kouyate playing behind Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gueye completes a solid spine ahead of Mendy that allow the team to attack full throttle, unleashing the scintillating pace of Mane, Ismaila Sarr (Watford) and Keita Balde (Cagliari).

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Zimbabwe

The Warriors have a massive fight on their hands against the favourites who boast the cream of the crop of players who’re plying their trade among the best leagues in the world.

The notable absentee from the squad is Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat, who retired after scoring 17 times in 43 appearances for Zimbabwe.

SuperSport United duo Onismor Bhasera and Kudakwashe Mahachi will join the South African PSL contingent of Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows) and former Kaizer Chiefs players, defender Teenage Hadebe and captain Knowledge Musona.

Zimbabwe tasted defeat in both of their most recent meetings with Senegal, a 2-1 loss at the COSAFA Cup in Port Elizabeth a few months ago, while Sadio Mane set the tone with an early goal as Senegal ran out 2-0 winners at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Prediction: Senegal Win To Nil (7/10)

It will be difficult for any team to penetrate Senegal’s defence considering the talent at their disposal, my money is firmly on goalkeeper Edouard Mendy earning his first clean sheet.

Written by Bryan Naicker