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Preview: Senegal vs. Guinea

Two West African nations clash in Friday’s derby between Senegal and Guinea at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Bafoussam. Both sides are coming off 1-0 victories in their respective opening matchups, neither of which were particularly convincing against weaker opponents. The winner of today’s match will emerge as the leader in Group B, but most importantly will possess the bragging rights between two bordering countries.

Senegal are still having issues dealing with Covid-19 within the squad after being forced to trot out several reserves in their win over Zimbabwe. Star central midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye and Fodé Ballo-Touré are the new names added to the Covid-related absences after starting the opening match. Commanding center back Kalidou Koulibaly is reportedly back in training along with left back Saliou Ciss and Leicester City midfielder Nampalys Mendy, while goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and striker Famara Diedhiou are still out. It is hard to know who will be available to start against Guinea, but either way manager Aliou Cissé will have to make plenty of adjustments with a squad that is less than full strength.

The Guinean squad is just about fully healthy after having to leave behind a few players at their training camp in Rwanda due to Covid. Morlaye Sylla, Seydouba Soumah and Mikael Dyrestam are now back in contention and are training with the rest of their teammates in Bafoussam but young talented attacker Aguibou Camara is questionable for the match due to injury. Guinea manager Kaba Diawara would not entertain any idea that Senegal are weakened because of their absent players, stating that there is plenty of depth in Cissé’s squad. Guinean media is reporting that the Syli Nationale will line up in a 3-5-2 for the match with Mohamed Bayo and José Kanté likely to be the two forwards, but Morgan Guilovogui could be in contention for a spot up top after returning from Covid.

SuperSport has a general preview below, AS breaks down Senegal’s latest Covid-19 situation and Reuters has the latest news on Watford winger Ismaïla Sarr’s status in the Senegal squad. Both Senegalese and Guinean media have plenty of stories on the match below. Check out the predicted starting lineups and comments from players and coaching staff.

Senegal, Guinea brace for West African derby battle (SuperSport)
Two more Senegal players test positive for Covid-19 (AS)

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