Team Profile: Senegal

Nickname: Lions of Teranga
Association formed: 1960
Previous Afcon Appearances: 13 (1965, 1968, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2015)
Best result: Runners-Up (2002)
Coach: Aliou Cisse
Leading scorers: all-time –Henri Camara (29)
Most appearances: all-time –Henri Camara (99)
FIFA ranking: 33 (1st in CAF)

THE BIG QUESTION
Senegal only came close to winning the Afcon title in 2002, but could they playing their hearts out for their first title this year with in-form Liverpool striker, Sadio Mane?

WHO ARE THEY?
The Senegal national football team represents Senegal in international association football and has done so since the 1960s. It made its first, and thus far only, FIFA World Cup appearance in 2002 and caused a huge upset by defeating world and European champions France 1–0 in the tournament’s opening game. Senegal eventually reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, one of only three African teams to do so (the first being Cameroon in 1990; the other being Ghana in 2010).

TOP THREE PLAYERS
Sadio Mane: One of the best players presently in the Premier League, Mane brings penetration and creativity to the Lions squad. He will, however, need the support of his teammates to get the best out of him and avoid a repeat of the 2015 tournament where he was a marked man and failed to shine.

Idrissa Gueye: ‘Gana’ has been a revelation this season in the English top-flight, where he has set about covering every blade of grass on the pitch in every game. He certainly will bring that all-action style into the Teranga Lions team and he should be a driving force from the engine room.

Kalidou Koulibaly: The highly sought after 25-year-old defender only recently made his debut for the Senegal national team, but has gone on to make 12 appearances in that time. He will be keen to showcase those polished defensive skills that has made Europe’s top clubs queue for his signature.

HOW THEY QUALIFIED
Senegal finished with a perfect record in Group K, qualifying with all maximum points of 18, scoring 13 and conceding just two as they overcame the threats posed by Burundi, Namibia and Niger Republic.

FULL 23-MAN SQUAD AFCON

Goalkeepers: Khadim N’Diaye (Horoya AC, Guinea), Abdoulaye Diallo (Çaykur Rizespor, Turkey), Pape Seydou N’Diaye (ASC Niarry Tally).

Defenders: Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Cheikh M’Bengue (Saint-Etienne, France), Kara Mbodj (Anderlecht, Belgium), Zargo Toure (Lorient, France), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France)

Midfielders: Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, England), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham, England), Cheikh N’Doye (Angers, France), Papakouli Diop (Espanyol, Spain), Henri Saivet (Saint Etienne, France), Papa Alioune Ndiaye (Osmanlıspor, Turkey), Mohamed Diame (Newcastle, England)

Forwards: Sadio Mane (Liverpool England), Keita Balde Diao (Lazio, Italy), Moussa Konate (FC Sion, Switzerland), Famara Diedhiou (Angers, France), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke, England), Ismaila Sarr (Metz, France), Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce, Turkey)

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