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Jun 4, 2022 at 8pm UK
3 - 1
Mane (12' pen., 22', 60' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-0)
Olaitan (88')
Doremus (6')
D'Almeida (51')

Preview: Senegal vs. Benin - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Senegal vs. Benin - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying clash between Senegal and Benin, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Reigning African champions Senegal kick off their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign when they play host to Benin at the Stade Me Abdoulaye Wade on Saturday.

The Lions of Teranga, who saw off Egypt in the 2022 AFCON final back in January, head into the weekend on the back of securing a place in the upcoming World Cup and will look to keep the juggernaut rolling.

Match preview

Senegal secured their place at the World Cup later this year when they saw off African heavyweights Egypt on penalties in the qualification playoffs back in March.

After suffering a 1-0 defeat at the Cairo International Stadium on March 25, Aliou Cisse's side picked up a 1-0 second-leg win on home turf four days later to force penalties where they claimed a 3-1 victory.

This was a repeat of their 2022 Africa Cup of Nations final triumph in Cameron back in February when they also saw off the Pharaohs 4-2 on penalties to clinch their first-ever continental crown.

Senegal, who are seeking a fifth consecutive AFCON appearance for the second time in history, head into the weekend unbeaten in 14 of their last 15 games across all competitions, picking up 11 wins and three draws in that time.

This impressive run has been owing to the fine job done at both ends of the pitch as the Lions of Teranga have scored 25 goals in that time while conceding seven and keeping eight clean sheets.

Benin, on the other hand, failed to pick up a second successive victory last time out when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Togo in a friendly fixture on March 29.

In an end-to-end affair at the Mardan Sports Complex, Kodjo Fo Doh Laba and Steve Mounie scored for either side in the first half to force a share of the spoils.

This followed a 4-0 thrashing of Liberia away from home on March 24, when Cebio Soukou, Tosin Aiyegun and Jodel Dossou scored first-half goals to put the Squirrels in a commanding position before Mounie completed the rout in the 70th minute.

Benin, who are currently 84th in the latest FIFA World Rankings, head into the weekend on a run of four wins from their last eight games across all competitions, picking up two draws and losing twice in that time.

Michel Dussuyer's side will now look to return to the Africa Cup of Nations after missing out on the continental showpiece earlier this year courtesy of a third-placed finish in Group L of the 2022 qualifiers.

Senegal form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Benin form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Senegal have named a similar side that stormed to the AFCON title back in January, including the likes of Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Paris Saint-German man Idrissa Gana Gueye and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane has been a key figure for the Lions of Teranga and should spearhead the attack once again, teaming up with Watford's Ismaila Sarr and Boulaye Dia, who registered five goals and five assists for Villarreal in the La Liga.

Gueye, Nampalys Mendy and Crystal Palace's Cheikhou Kouyate should start at the centre of the park, while we should see a centre-back pairing of Koulibaly and Abdou Diallo shielding Chelsea's Mendy in goal.

In the absence of Bouna Sarr, Bamba Dieng and Mame Baba Thiam, who have all been omitted, the trio of Torino's Demba Seck, Sheffield United forward Ilimane Ndiaye and 20-year-old full-back Alpha Dionkou have all been handed their debut call-ups.

Meanwhile, Benin have called up an experienced squad for their upcoming qualification games, including Dijon goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe and Ludogorets Razgrad defender Olivier Verdon.

Twenty-seven-year-old forward Mounie, who registered nine goals and two assists for Brest in the Ligue 1, boasts over 40 international appearances since his debut in 2015 and should spearhead the attack once again.

Senegal possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Seck, Koulibaly, Cisse, Ciss; Kouyate, Mendy, I Gueye; Mane, Sarr, Dia

Benin possible starting lineup:
Allagbe; Adenon, Kiki, Verdon, Assogba; D'Almeida, Ahlnvi; Dossou, Aiyegun, Soukou, Mounie

We say: Senegal 2-0 Benin

Senegal head into the qualifiers with a star-studded squad and are clear favourites to come away with the desired results. While we expect Benin to put up a fight, the Lions of Teranga have lost just once since October 2020 and we are backing them to cruise to all three points on home turf this weekend.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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