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Friendlies 1
Mar 22, 2024 at 7.30pm UK
Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor

3 - 0

Appindangoye (12' og.), Faye (44'), Mane (90+2')
Dieng (34'), Seck (36'), Ciss (45+4'), Sano (71')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Loufilou (43')

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

:Headline: Preview: Senegal vs. Gabon - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's friendly clash between Senegal and Gabon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Senegal look to bounce back from a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations title defence when they play Gabon in a friendly match at Stade de la Licorne on Friday.

Aliou Cisse's men suffered an early round of 16 exit at the hands of tournament hosts and eventual winners Ivory Coast, and the Lions of Teranga are back together for the first time since that loss.

Match preview

Many tipped Senegal as the first side since Egypt in the 2000s to retain their Cup of Nations crown, but the AFCON 2021 champions exited early against the Elephants.

Cisse future was in doubt afterwards, with many outlets reporting that the Senegal boss was considering leaving the job he had served since 2015. Yet he remains in situ heading into the March international break.

The AFCON-winning coach hopes for a strong Lions performance to banish the disappointment of losing to Ivory Coast on Friday, with the team also keen to continue a commendable run of results in exhibition games that has seen them lose once since a 3-1 defeat by Morocco in October 2020.

That loss came in a 1-0 reverse against Algeria in September 2023, the only blemish Cisse's men have suffered in eight friendly games (six wins).

Their ability to find the back of the net in those games was striking, and the highlight win during the impressive results in non-competitive games came in June last year to defeat Brazil 4-2.

While a lot has since happened, Cisse seeks a rousing performance more than anything else when his Lions face Gabon in Amiens.

Their opponents played no part at AFCON 2023 and ostensibly have no extra motivation heading into Friday's game but to have the squad together for the first time since November 2023.

Those World Cup qualifying wins were just what the doctor ordered for the Panthers, and the Central African nation's 100% start puts them level atop Group F with African champions Ivory Coast.

The next round of games are in June, with Gabon to face the Elephants at the start of the month in West Africa, and while a friendly match never has the edge of a competitive fixture, Senegal and Ivory Coast's comparable qualities mean Friday's match in France makes sense for the Panthers.

However, their friendly results leave much to be desired, underlined by one victory in five for Thierry Mouyouma's side, even if the head coach cannot be blamed for the Panthers' previous underwhelming matches before his 2023 appointment.

The 48-year-old's only games in charge since his November appointment were the victories over Burundi and Kenya, but will he keep that unblemished run going against Africa's second-highest-ranked side?

Senegal friendly form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Senegal form (all competitions):

Gabon friendly form:

  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D

Gabon form (all competitions):

Team News

Sadio Mane is Senegal's top player, and the former Liverpool forward will be the Lions' go-to forward despite the presence of other capable attackers.

Idrissa Gueye is an injury doubt for Friday's game, but Cisse has midfield reinforcements in Lamine Camara and Pape Matar Sarr to rely on in the tenacious midfielder's absence.

With Nicolas Jackson in fine form, the Chelsea forward could be played from the off, having been utilised in a bit-part role at the Cup of Nations.

A thigh injury has ruled Anthony Oyono out of this weekend's fixture, Mouyouma's only reported absentee, and he could be replaced by Jeremy Oyono at right-back.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not included for this month's internationals, even though he returned to the team a year ago following his 2022 retirement.

Guelor Kanga has been ejected from the camp for an "indecent act", a far-from-ideal development for the Panthers.

Denis Bouanga could threaten the Senegal defence with his pace and ball-carrying ability, possibly posing issues for the AFCON 2021 winners in counter-attacking situations, while Mario Lemina — a known Premier League player at Wolverhampton Wanderers — could start in midfield.

Senegal possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Koulibaly, Diallo, Niakhate; Diatta, Sarr, Camara, Jakobs; Sarr, Mane; Jackson

Gabon possible starting lineup:
Demba; Oyono, Appindangoye, Manga, Obiang; Lemina, Loufilou, Biteghe; Bouanga, Mbina, Allevinah

We say: Senegal 2-1 Gabon

Cisse's team have more unsurprising outcomes, with their consistency not dropping in competitive or non-competitive fixtures. The same cannot be said for Gabon, whose mixed results reveal a team with oscillating performances and results when the stakes are not as high — and maybe even when they are too.

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

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