Senegal drop star forward for Tunisia showdown at AFCON 2019

The first semi-final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-will see Senegal play without star forward, Keita Balde, from the start after the AS Monaco of France player was dropped from the Teranga Lions starting XI for the showdown against Tunisia.

Balde started in the quarter-final win over Benin Republic but has now made way for midfielder Krepin Diatta, as Senegal head coach, Aliou Cisse, is looking to have an upperhand in the midfield battle against
Alain Giresse’s Carthage Eagles.

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Otherwise, Senegal’s team remains unchanged from the one that edged Benin Republic 1-0 in the quarter-final clash between the West African rivals.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse played in their only previous final, missing the penalty that cost them the shootout against Cameroon back in AFCON 2002.

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“We are now close to our goal at this competition, but before it we will face a difficult match against Tunisia,” Cisse said.

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He added: “We will continue working the same way we have been working since the beginning of the competition.”

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Cisse also stated it would be a different Carthage Eagles his team would be facing this time around.

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“Tunisian football has evolved, it’s true that we beat them in 2017, but this is a different game,” the Teranga Lions boss said.

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Senegal XI: Alfred Gomis – Lamine Gassama, Cheikhou Kouyate, Kalidou Koulibaly, Youssouf Sabaly – Henri Saivet, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Badou Ndiaye, Krepin Diatta – M’Baye Niang, Sadio Mane

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Tunisia XI: Mouez Hassen – Mohamed Draeger, Dylan Bronn, Yassine Meriah, Oussama Haddadi – Ayman Ben Mohamed, Ellyes Skhiri, Ferjani Sassi – Youssef Msakni, Taha Yassine Khenissi, Wahbi Khazri

What team do you see coming out tops from the AFCON 2019 semi-final showdown? Share your predictions of this match with us in the comment section.