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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Pan-Africa Football’s AFCON preview: Group B

It is time for Africa’s showcase football tournament as the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations prepares to kick off in Cameroon starting on January 9. Pan-Africa Football will be covering the competition in depth and is previewing the tournament by going through all of the groups and identifying who and what to watch for all teams. Group B is next as Guinea, Zimbabwe, Malawi and title contenders Senegal are evaluated below.



Aliou Cissé

The captain of the famous Senegal team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup and finished runner-up in that year’s Africa Cup of Nations, Cissé was a defensive midfielder who represented Paris Saint-Germain as well as English Premier League teams Birmingham City and Portsmouth FC. Since being appointed to lead Senegal in March 2015, Cissé has led the Teranga Lions to the heights they are at now by steadily building a quality team that aspires to reach the summit of African football. Doing well to guide Senegal to their second runner-up finish in the 2019 AFCON, the expectations will be even higher this time around and it will be interesting to see how he and his team deal with the pressure of being among the favorites. Under Cissé, the team will likely line up in a 4-2-3-1 with two defensive midfielders and a physical forward up top supported by three attackers who can cause issues by combining and running at opposing defenses.

Key Players

Sadio Mané – Liverpool (ENG)

The 29-year-old is an icon in his country not only due to his immense success on the pitch, but also because of his philanthropy back home. Mané started his career at Senegal’s famed academy, Génération Foot, and moved to their affiliate club FC Metz in France before launching himself to prominence at Red Bull Salzburg. Capable of scoring with both feet, he is among the best in the world when navigating through tight spaces and excels at initiating passing sequences with his teammates to get be