Senegal and Tanzania open their Asia Cup of Nations 2019 bids against each other on June 24, 2019, at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo, Egypt.

Senegal and Tanzania are teams from Group C where they are joined by powerhouse Algeria and Kenya. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Round of 16 together with the top 4 third-placed teams. The winner of Group C will take on the best third placer from Groups A/B/F while the runners-up of this group will face the runners-up of Group A in the knockout stage. If the third placer of the group also makes it, they play the Group B winner in the next round.

“Soccer" Senegal (Group C)

Senegal enters the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as one of the top soccer betting favorites to win the tournament. Head coach Aliou Cisse has named a powerhouse 23-man squad led by Liverpool star Sadio Mane and Napoli star defender Kalidou Koulibaly. On paper, Senegal is one of the best teams in the tournament and hopefully, they will prove that on the field as well.

The Lions of Teranga qualified for this tournament by finishing atop Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying tournament. Senegal finished with an unbeaten record of 5 wins and 1 draw. This is the 15th appearance for Senegal in this tournament and their best finish was 2nd in 2002.

There are Aliou Cisse’s squad members for the African Cup:

  • Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes/FRA), Alfred Gomis (SPAL/ITA), Edouard Mendy (Reims/FRA)
  • Defenders: Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes/FRA), Pape Abdou Cisse (Olympiacos/GRE), Lamine Gassama (Goztepe/TUR), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli/ITA), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace/ENG), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux/FRA), Salif Sane (Schalke/GER), Moussa Wague (Barcelona/ESP)
  • Midfielders: Keprin Diatta (Club Brugge/BEL), Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton/ENG), Alfred Ndiaye (Malaga/ESP), Badou Ndiaye (Galatasaray/TUR), Henri Saivet (Bursaspor/TUR)
  • Forwards: Keita Balde (Inter/ITA), Mbaye Diagne (Galatasaray/TUR), Moussa Konate (Amiens/FRA),Sadio Mane (Liverpool/ENG), Mbaye Niang (Rennes/FRA), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes/FRA), Sada Thioub (Nimes/FRA)
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Odds from as of 6/18/19

“Soccer" Tanzania (Group C)

Tanzania is making only its second-ever appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations. They got here after finishing as runners-up in Group L of the qualifiers. Tanzania finished with a record of two wins, two draws and two losses for a total of eight points. Tanzania didn’t make it out of the group stage in their only other appearance in this tournament in 1980.

The Taifa Stars have been drawn in a tough group which includes Senegal and Algeria. Coach Emmanuel Amuneke’s squad is led by forward Mbwana Samatta who plays for the Belgian side Genk. Samatta scored 32 goals in 51 appearances.  The squad also includes the Egyptian Premier League pair of Himid Mao and Yahya Zayd who play for Petrojet and Ismaily, respectively.

Here is a list of Amuneke’s team:

  • Goalkeepers: Aron Kalambo (Prisons), Aishi Manula (Simba), Metacha Mnata (Mbao)
  • Defenders: Mohammed Hussein, Erasto Nyoni (both Simba), Gardiel Michael, Kelvin Yondan (both Young Africans), Aggrey Morris (Azam), Ally Mtoni (Lipuli), Vincent Philipo (Mbao), Hassan Ramadhan (Nkana/ZAM)
  • Midfielders: Frank Domayo, Mudathir Yahya (both Azam), Himid Mao (Petrojet/EGY), Simon Msuva (Difaa el Jadidi/MAR), Farid Mussa (Tenerife/ESP), Feisal Salum (Young Africans)
  • Forwards: John Bocco (Simba), Rashid Mandawa (Defence Force/BOT), Abdi Yussuf Mussa (Blackpool/ENG), Mbwana Samatta (Genk/BEL), Thomas Ulimwengu (Saoura/ALG), Yahya Zayd (Ismaily/EGY)

“Soccer" Who Wins?

With captain Sadio Mane leading the attack, Senegal isn’t just one of the most exciting teams to look forward to in the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 tournament, they are one of the solid favorites to win it all. What’s great for Senegal is that Mane enters the tournament in excellent form. The Liverpool winger scored 22 goals in the Premier League and earned a share of the Golden Boot award. On defense, Senegal has Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly who has been impressive with his performance in Italy. Koulibaly has great pace, strength and a good game IQ which sets him apart from his peers. But not only does Senegal have a star on both ends of the field, but they also have a squad that is balanced on both sides.

Give credit to Emmanuel Amuneke for what he has done to this team but really, Tanzania making the final cut for the 2019 African Cup of Nations was a big surprise. Mbwana Samatta is their main offensive weapon. The Genk star has scored a total of 17 goals in 48 appearances for his country, including two in the qualifiers for this tournament. Erasto Nyoni is another key player on this squad. Nyoni is Amuneke’s designated penalty taker. The midfielder is one of the most experienced players on the team with over 80 caps in his resume.

Senegal has some of the best players in most key positions. They also have the right mix of youth and experience on their side. Add the fact that they have a manager who has been to the best leagues in the world and you have a squad that has what it takes to go all the way. Most of Tanzania’s players play on home soil and don’t have the kind of experience as their Senegal counterparts. While that’s a testament to the job Amuneke has done, it’s also going to catch up with them in big tournaments like this. I think Senegal has just too much experience and talent for Tanzania here. Prediction: Senegal

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