Five clubs affected as Aliou Cisse announces Senegal squad
Senegal boss Aliou Cisse has fired the first shot as the much-maligned African Cup of Nations is set to begin in just over two weeks’ time when he announced his Senegal squad earlier today.
🔴 OFFICIEL ! La liste du Sénégal pour la CAN. 🇸🇳 pic.twitter.com/k8WhRD1Ofl
— Actu Foot (@ActuFoot_) December 24, 2021
Five Premier League clubs are set to be affected by this announcement alone, including title rivals Liverpool and Chelsea with headline call-ups to none other than Reds star forward Sadio Mané and Blues first-choice keeper Edouard Mendy.
But Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel are not the only bosses that will be made to cope with the first of many incoming squad announcements, with Leicester City, Watford, and Crystal Palace also set to be without key elements in the first-team given the Senegal announcement.
Brendan Rodgers will be stripped of versatile midfielder Nempalys Mendy, while Claudio Ranieri and Patrick Vieira will bid adieu to Ismaïla Sarr and Cheikhou Kouyaté respectively.
AFCON tournament favorite
While the announcement of Senegal’s squad is not troubling for base value, the fact that Aliou Cisse’s Les Lions de la Téranga are one of three heavy favorites to win the mid-season tournament is, however.
Cisse’s squad, along with Egypt and Ghana, are the bookmaker’s trio of favorites to go on and win the tournament, and should they at least reach the final, the likes of Mané and Mendy will miss at least a month of action for their Premier League clubs, not including any rest received once they return to first-team training.
Making a deep run in the tournament is exactly what should be expected from Senegal as well, reaching the final in 2019 only to lose to Algeria in the final in Cairo.
The 2017 installment in Gabon saw them reach the quarterfinal stage, and with a starstudded best XI that will also feature big names such as captain Kalidou Koulibaly, Abdou Diallo, Idrissa Gueye, Krépin Diatta, and Pape Matar Sarr, similar success will not only be expected but demanded.
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