Big Game Focus: Senegal v Benin

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Senegal are having a decent Arica Cup of Nations tournament. Meanwhile, Benin are having a terrific tournament. However, the Squirrels have not won a single match in the competition. These two square off in the quarters with the Lions of Teranga as clear favourites. Can Benin produce another upset? Here’s the Big Game Focus with some betting tips and team news. Bet on AFCON here. 

Senegal have been perennial underachievers down the years in this competition. They’ve always possessed a squad that can challenge even the world’s best. However, near misses and poor management of the squad have been their undoing, making them wait for their first ever AFCON title. This year, they have won three and lost once in the tournament. Benin presents them with a tricky test but can they overcome it?

On the other hand, Benin are in the quarter-final despite not winning a single match. Baffling. They eliminated Morocco in dramatic fashion in the Round of 16 following a penalty shootout. Whether it was by luck or just a knack to survive in the most extreme of moments, the Squirrels have demonstrated they can frustrate the big dogs. Senegal will be in for a long night if Benin play with the passion and grit they displayed against the Atlas Lions.

Betting preview

Senegal have won three out of their last four matches in the tournament. They’ve also beaten Benin in three of their last four meetings. Benin are yet to win a match in this tournament. You can back Senegal to win at odds of 1.36. 

Four of both Senegal and Benin’s last six matches have seen two or fewer goals scored. In this tournament, three of Senegal’s and Benin’s four matches have seen Under 2.5 Goals. Therefore, you can back Under 2.5 Goals at odds of 1.44. 

Sadio Mane has scored three goals in this year’s competition and is currently tied on top of the scoring charts with Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo. The Liverpool star has also missed two penalties in the competition, evidence of numerous goalscoring chances the Senegalese create. Therefore, odds of 2.20 for Sadio Mane as Anytime Goalscorer are attractive. 

Team news

Senegal centre back Salif Sane is a doubt for this clash. Badou Ndiaye and Kalidou Koulibaly are a booking away from suspension.

Khaled Adenon was sent off in a shock last-16 win over Morocco and is now banned, but striker Steve Mounie is back from a ban and ready to play.

Possible line-up

Senegal: Gomis, Gassama, Koulibaly, Kouyate, Sabaly, Ndiaye, Gueye, Mane, Saivet, Sarr, Niang

Benin: Allagbe, Mama, Kiki, Adilehou, Verdon, Imorou, Pote, Adeoti, Sessegnon, Soukou, Mounie