With the maiden Africa Cup of Nations title well within their sight, Senegal will take on Benin as its quarter-final opponents on July 10 at 30 June Air Defence Stadium, Egypt. Aliou Cisse's men earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Uganda in their previous knockout round.
The Lions of Teranga are considered one of the prime contenders to lift this year's AFCON title. Senegal have looked in good shape throughout the tournament, with their only hiccup came against Algeria in the group stage. Also, Cisse asserted that his side have a good chance to lift their first-ever trophy by saying,
"It's true that Cameroon are not here, the big favourites are no longer here today. Of course, that gives us ideas and it gives us even more confidence to say yes, maybe this year will be the one,"
"But like I said, that's just hope and it won't be enough. We'll have to work very hard, we'll have to be serious, and that is what we're doing."
However, the Lions would like to avoid the complacency of any degree against Benin- who caused a major upset by knocking Morocco out of the competition on penalties.
Key Match Facts
This will be the first encounter between Senegal and Benin in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Senegal have progressed from two of their previous seven quarter-finals, while Benin are competing at this stage for the first time.
The Squirrels have played the most Africa Cup of Nations games without winning (13 - D5 L8).
Last five matches, including all competitions.
Aliou Cisse will try sticking to the XI which earned his team a victory against Uganda in the last round. Senegal is certain to start in a 4-2-3-1 formation with M'Baye Niang leading the attack, with Sadio Mane, Henri Saviet, and Ismalia Sarr.
Papa N'Diaye and Idrissa Gana Gueye will be Senegal's two number sixes, acting as the pivot during the buildup phase.
With Salif Sane being sidelined, Cheikhou Kouyate will partner Kalidou Koulibaly in central defence. The full-back department looks sorted with Youssouf Sabaly and Lamine Gassama set to patrol left and right flank respectively.
Predicted XI(4-2-3-1): Alfred Gomis(GK); Lamine Gassama, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kalidou Koulibaly, Youssouf Sabaly; Papa N'Diaye, Idrissa Gueye; Ismalia Sarr, Henri Saviet, Sadio Mane(c); M'Baye Niang.
ALSO READArticle Continues below