Afcon 2019: Sadio Mane's return could be disguised blessing for Kenya - Charles Odera

Sadio Mane Senegal 2018
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Senegal's talisman is expected to feature in the next group matches after a one-match ban served against Tanzania

Chemelil Sugar assistant coach Charles Odera believes Sadio Mane's return could be a blessing in disguise for Harambee Stars.

Kenya will play Tanzania in the next Group C match after losing to Algeria 2-0 in the opener and will have to end the group duties against Senegal where Mane is expected to feature.

Mane was suspended for Senegal's first match against Tanzania following two bookings in their previous qualifying matches against Equatorial Guinea on 17 November and Madagascar on 23 March.

"If Mane plays, his team will want to play all the balls to him and even Mane can turn out to be selfish in the match against Kenya you never know. That would be easy for Kenya to defend and prevent him from wreaking havoc. You saw how they played as a unit against Tanzania and Mane's return could change that given the attention that will be on him," Odera told Goal.

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The tactician also explained how Kenya can still progress to the knockout stage despite the opener's disappointment.

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"We need to pick just enough points from the remaining matches and I believe we can win against Tanzania and fight for even a draw against Senegal. Stars are capable and I have no doubt in mind that they doubt their own abilities too," Oedra added.

"There is no more pressure, after the opener, as is the case in many tournaments, teams tend to grow in confidence in subsequent matches and that can help in going for points in the other two matches. Like in the first half (against Algeria), we were a bit under pressure but we grew well into the game in the second half."

Kenya will play Tanzania on June 27 before Senegal's clash on the first day of July.