Francis Xavier slams Algeria's "fake injuries" ahead of showdown with Kenya in the Afcon

Kenya have participated in five Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) competitions in the past, but have never progressed to the knockout stages

AFC Leopards legend and former Vihiga United assistant coach Francis Xavier has revealed his hopes that Kenya can perform well in the Afcon.

Xavier pointed out why he is confident against Tanzania and Senegal, but he has doubts when facing Algeria in the group stage.

"The team is in good shape and I believe they can pull a surprise result in Egypt. But my only worry lies in the striking department. If Michael Olunga is injured (God forbid) who will help Harambee Stars get goals? In that situation, I hope the wingers will rise to the occasion and in this case, I am talking about Ayub Timbe, Francis Kahata and Erick Johanna," Xavier told Goal.

"In midfield, I feel that the partnership between Dennis Odhiambo and Victor Wanyama will be very solid and will anchor the team well. Although Brian Mandela got injured, I also hope that Joash Onyango or David Owino will take the opportunity and do a good job in defence." 

Xavier added that Kenya can progress to the knockout stage if they perform to his expectations against Senegal and Tanzania.

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"My instincts tell me that we can get a victory against Senegal and Tanzania. It will be tricky playing against Algeria because of the known antics the Northerners like deploying in every match. They fake injuries to waste time, they also fake tackles and that can work against one's strategy in any game. But I hope they would not do that," Xavier explained. 

"Anyway, a victory against Tanzania and Senegal would be enough."

Kenya will face the Democratic Republic of Congo in a second friendly match on June 15 as they prepare for Group C's matches against Algeria, Tanzania and Senegal.