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Senegal World Cup team guide: fixtures, kits, key player, plus probable line-up

first_imgSenegal take part in their second World Cup this summer in Russia. take an in-depth look at the Group H nation.MANAGERFormer Birmingham City and Portsmouth man Aliou Cisse will guide Senegal through their second-ever World Cup campaign. Capped 35 times by his country, he took on the manager’s job in 2015, promoted after being in charge of the under-23s previously.Cisse spent three years at PSG as a player alongside the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Jay-Jay Okocha and Mauricio Pochettino. He joined Birmingham in 2002 and then hit the south coast with Pompey two years later.During his tenure as national team boss, Senegal have reached unprecedented heights in the world rankings, reaching a record high of 23 in November.CAPTAINWest Ham’s Cheikhou Kouyate wears the armband for Senegal, having just finished his fourth season with the Hammers.The all-action midfielder has 41 caps for the Lions of Teranga, making his debut in 2012 and going on to represent his country in two African Cup of Nations tournaments.He forms an experienced midfield with Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye and Badou Ndiaye of Stoke City.KEY PLAYEROne prong of the blistering Liverpool strike force, Sadio Mane comes into the World Cup on the back of a 20-goal season with the Reds, ten of which came in the Champions League.Mane’s pace, dribbling ability and eye for goal should be enough to translate his club form to the international stage, capable of creating something from nothing. His 14 goals from 51 caps trail only Moussa Sow (18 goals) in the current squad.The former Metz, Salzburg and Southampton man will be keen to make his mark in Russia as he moves out from the shadow of the more highly-praised Salah and Firmino, reminding the world of his qualities after being integral to Liverpool in 2016-17. RECORD IN QUALIFYINGSenegal brushed aside Madagascar 5-2 on aggregate in their first qualifying stage before being drawn in a group with Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and South Africa. Senegal lost their second game away at South Africa but saw the result annulled after Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey found guilty of match manipulation.By the time of the replay, Senegal needed a win to secure qualification and duly did, running out 2-0 winners to top the group unbeaten and become the third African team to make it to Russia.TOURNAMENT PREPARATIONSSenegal travelled to Croatia on June 9 and lost 2-1 before beating South Korea 2-0 in Grodig, Austria three days later.BASE CAMPKalugaPROBABLE LINE-UPDiallo; Gassama, Koulibaly, Mbodji, Ciss; Kouyate, Gueye, B.Ndiaye; Mane, Sow, Balde.talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Sadio Mane will be key for Senegal at the World Cup 4center_img 4 ONE TO WATCHKeita Balde is one of the most exciting young prospects to come out of Africa in years, offering just as much of a threat on the left as Mane will on the opposite flank.Snapped up by Monaco last summer to replace Bernardo Silva, the Spanish-born winger hit the net 16 times in Serie A for Lazio in 2016-17.He made his debut in 2016 and will be the subject of significant transfer speculation should he fire Senegal to the knockouts in what could be this tournament’s Group of Death.FIXTURESTuesday, June 19: POLAND v Senegal (Spartak Stadium, Moscow) – kick-off 16:00Sunday, June 24: JAPAN v Senegal (Yekaterinburg Stadium, Yekaterinburg) – kick-off 16:00Thursday, June 28: Senegal v COLOMBIA (Samara Arena, Samara) – kick-off 15:00*You can listen to EVERY 2018 World Cup match live on the talkSPORT networkKITSlast_img read more