Kenya meet Senegal for their final group stage match of this year’s AFCON, with the fixture scheduled to take place at the 30 June Stadium. The stakes could not be higher, as both teams have earned three points up to now and are separated only by goal difference, with Senegal slightly edging it in that regard. Should Senegal come out on top, they could overtake Algeria at the summit of the standings if they win by three more goals than Algeria manage in their matchup versus Tanzania, who have zero points. Matchday three of Group C promises to be an entertaining one.
After qualifying for AFCON 2019 with relative ease, Kenya began the campaign against current table toppers Algeria. Two early bookings made the start of the game rather difficult as they displayed some nerves, and shortly after half time Baghdad Bounedjah netted the opening goal from the penalty spot to put real pressure on Kenya. Under ten minutes later, things got even worse for Sebastien Migne’s men when Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez slotted the ball home and put his team in cruise control, assisted by Ismael Bennacer. Kenya could have no complaints about the outcome with Algeria dominating from start to finish, although it did give them motivation to win in the next outing. However,Simon Msuwa ensured that the ride to three points wasn’t going to be easy when he scored to give Tanzania the advantage after six minutes. Michael Olunga leveled the score, but within two minutes Kenya were behind again. Johanna Omolo and Olunga bagged once each in the second half to see of their opponents in a tightly contested ninety minutes.
Senegal were the victors in four of the preceding matches prior to the tournament, beating Sudan twice, Equatorial Guinea and more recently, Madagascar. These positive performances filled the nation with confidence that they could go far this year, and when Keita Balde hit the back of Aishi Manula’s net less than half an hour into the affair with Tanzania, the mood amongst supporters grew even more excitable. Midway through the second half, Krepin Diatta notched his first of the competition and made sure maximum points were heading the way of his country as the scoreline read 2-0 when the referee blew for full time. As expected, the match with Algeria was more difficult and tougher to call. Senegal will feel hard done by as Sadio Mane appeared to be fouled in the box during the game, but the man in charge saw nothing wrong from his standpoint and waved play on. Mohamed Youcef Belaili got on the scoresheet four minutes after the break and neither team could add another goal in the remainder of the game. Now, Senegal need to win or draw to make certain of second spot.
Kenya will have a full squad available for selection on Monday, providing manager Migne with a fantastic boost going into the tie. We can see Kenya opting for a 4-2-3-1 here, just as they did in the two first matches of the AFCON. Buoyed by the victory over Tanzania and now with their striker finding his scoring touch, Olunga should retain his place as number nine within the side. Behind him Ayub Masika and Eric Ouma as well as either John Avire or Francis Kahata, while Victor Wanyama and will sit alongside Johanna Omolo in the centre.
In terms of how Senegal will line up, they will play without Salif Sane who picked up an ankle injury and has been forced out of action until early July. They may decide to revert to the 4-1-4-1 which was utilized against Tanzania and worked to good effect, particularly after the setback they endured versus Algeria. However, we expect that they will stick with the 4-4-2 and keep Sadio Mane up front beside M’Baye Niang, with Keita Balde, Alfred Diaye and Diatta playing in the centre. Badou Ndiaye should fill the left hand side of midfield too.
Despite Senegal’s strong defensive structure, they may be doubting themselves after conceding for the first time in five matches last time out. Kenya put three past Tanzania in their most recent fixture, so there’s not question that their attackers will be ready and waiting to pounce on any error made by the opposition here. Senegal will likely be too much for Kenya with stars such as Mane and Keita Balde, so we’re going for Senegal to win and BTTS at 4/1 with Skybet. If you’d rather, Skybet have 2/1 for just BTTS, which isn’t a bad bet either due to the attacking nature of the pair over the last couple of weeks. Olunga got on the scoresheet twice in Kenya’s win over Tanzania, and with Skybet offering 4/1 for him to net once again here we highly recommend you get on that offer.