Senegal vs. Algeria: Predicting the Teranga Lions’ Starting XI

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Who’s likely to start for the West Africans in Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations final?

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    Alfred Gomis

    Senegal’s third-choice stopper after the World Cup, but injuries to Khadim N’Diaye and Edouard Mendy have seen him promoted to No. 1 spot.

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    Lamine Gassama

    Has displaced World Cup 2019 star Moussa Wague at right-back during the competition, and was particularly impressive in the victory over Kenya.

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    Cheikhou Kouyate

    Former captain who lost his place ahead of the World Cup, but has stepped back into the starting XI—now in the centre of defence—during Salif Sane’s Nations Cup injury.

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    Salif Sane

    With Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for the final, expect Sane to come back into the heart of the defence alongside Kouyate. He was first choice at the start of the campaign, before injury denied him his spot.

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    Youssouf Sabaly

    Athletic full-back, useful both going forward and defensively, who can feature on either flank but has nailed down the left-back berth with Senegal.

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    Badou N’Diaye

    Attacking midfielder who’s adapted—effectively—to a more defensive role during the Nations Cup, protecting the defence and ensuring Senegal’s midfield structure.

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    Henri Saivet

    One of the revelations of the tournament, has stepped into a key role, linking midfield and attack with his energy and dynamism. The Newcastle United man missed a penalty in the semi-final victory over Tunisia.

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    Idrissa Gueye

    Has made his name as a defensive midfielder, but has been employed by Aliou Cisse in a more attacking role, getting close to the strikers and offering another option in the final third. He could be a key man in the final, but may be dropped deeper to combat the Fennecs’ threat.

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    Ismaila Sarr

    Could miss out at the expense of Krepin Diatta, who started against Tunisia, but with the latter not making much of an impact, expect the Stade Rennais man to step back into the side on the right flank.

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    Sadio Mane

    The undisputed star of this Senegal team, Mane may have missed two penalties during the tournament, but he’s also scored three goals during the tournament. The attacker won the Champions League with Liverpool last month.

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    Mbaye Niang

    Striker who may struggle for goals, but admired by Cisse for the way he brings other players into the play and works for the team. His understudy, the prolific Mbaye Diagne, has done little with his meagre playing time to make a strong case for being preferred ahead of Niang.