PREVIEW: Senegal vs Gambia

The African Cup of Nations resumes on Monday 15 January when the current champions Senegal take on Gambia. It’s quite a big one for the champions to set the tone early for the tournament as they will need to get 3 points.

A win for the Gambia side will not only send head waves to the rest of the other teams in the competition but it would be a massive upset.

To Win
Senegal 24/10
Draw 2/1
Gambia 21/20



Defending champions Senegal will start the tournament as favourites ahead of Morocco.

The number of European-based players that they have will give them plenty of confidence heading into Ivory Coast. The Lions of Teranga still have enough firepower to climb their way back to glory.

The likes of Saudi Pro League-based Sadio Mane, and Chelsea attacker Nicolas Jackson are just names that will be tasked with leading the attack.  The engine room will prove to be a tough battle and that’s why the Lions will be eager to get Tottenham Hotspurs star man Pape Sarr working hard in the midfield.

Edouard Mendy still offers great assurance in goal so does the formidable presence of Kalidou Koulibaly the rock on which the strength of the Senegalese spine is built.



This will be their second appearance in the African Cup of Nations tournament as they are aiming to repeat their impressive run that earned them a quarterfinal place last time in Cameroon. The Scorpions kick off their campaign on January 15 against their neighbours Senegal.

They will need to rely on their star man Assan Ceesay for he is quite known to exploit wide spaces and contribute towards the team’s goals.

The head coach Tom Saintfiet is regarded as a true tactician in the game. He makes sure that the players are confident and ready for the challenge that awaits them. In 2021, Gambia qualified for their first AFCON, a historic moment celebrated nationwide.

Now the coach has a big task on his hands as he looks to replicate the fortunes that helped his side reach the quarterfinals in 2021.

Prediction: Senegal win (2/1)

I simply can’t see Senegal as the current champions and a team that has loads of experience not only from attack but more so in defence too.

They are the champions for a reason and there’s no doubt that they will want to start their campaign to a flying start. It wont be a walk in the park as Gambia will pose threats all over the park.

Written by Lilitha Bodlani