Russia 2018: Senegal under the spotlight

By Mutala Yakubu
Senegal will be at Russia 2018
Senegal will be at Russia 2018

Senegal, one of the five African representatives at Russia 2018 World Cup have high hopes entering the tournament.

The Lions of Teranga as they are nicknamed, reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup.

They caused one of the major upsets in football as they beat France 1-0 in the group stages.

Russia 2018 will be their second World Cup appearance after playing in the 2002 edition.

They did justice to their opponents in the qualifying series as they beat South Africa on the final day to seal a second World Cup qualification.

Senegal are in Group H of the Russia World Cup alongside Poland, Japan and Columbia.

Let's take a closer look at the Teranga Lions.



Coach

Aliou Cisse will guide Senegal to Russia 2018Aliou Cissé is the head coach of Senegal, he is a former national team player and also played for clubs like Birmingham City and later Portsmouth.

In 2002, Cissé captained the Senegal national team which reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, beating holders France en route.



Star players:

Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane will be the star man for Senegal at Russia 2018The heartbeat of the Senegalese team, the ever tiring winger will be the star man for his side at Russia 2018.

Mane has pace, strength and above all clinical in front of goal.

Read also:2018 FIFA World Cup: Here's an overview of the African Countries representing the continent

The Liverpool forward can be a nightmare for all opposition defence.


Kalidou Koulibaly

The Napoli defender is an intimidating figure at the back. The gatekeeper of the Senegal team.

Strong, powerful and very commanding. Strikers will have to put in their maximum best to go past the defender at Russia 2018.



Cheikhou Kouyate

 The captain of Senegal keeps things tidy in the midfield, he is the engine of the team.

The West Ham United midfielder will not only be needed to play well but also to motivate others around him to get the best out of everyone.

 

The best thing about them

 Sadio Mane and Keita Balde will be key for Senegal at Russia 2018They play with a lot of pace, the combination of Mane, Diouf and Keita Balde produces scintillating football and a lot of excitement.

This contributes to them scoring loads of goals.

 

Fan

Senegal fans will be at Russia 2018African football fans never disappoint and Senegal fans are no exception as they have a vibrant fanbase.

Expect them to be at Russia 2018 in full force to cheer their side.

 

The worst thing about them

All their 23 players for Russia 2018 have never played in the World Cup and inexperience could be their nemesis.


Here is Senegal's Preliminary 29 -man squad:

Abdoulaye Diallo, Khadim Ndiaye, Alfred Gomis, Lamine Gassama, Moussa Wague, Saliou Ciss, Youssouf Sabaly, Kalidou Kalidou, Salif Sane, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kara Mbodji, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Cheikh Ndoye, Alfred Ndiaye, Pape Alioune Ndiaye, Moussa Sow, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Mame Biram Diouf, Mbaye Niang, Diao Keita Balde.

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