Senegal will be determined to maintain their unbeaten run and avoid an upset when they take on Cape Verde in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16 at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam on Tuesday evening.
The Lions of Teranga advanced to the last 16 of the competition finishing at the top of Group B and unbeaten with five points after edging out Zimbabwe 1-0 in the first game before earning a point in each of the last two games in the group after they were held to a goalless draw by both Guinea and Malwai.
The Blue Sharks made their way to this stage of the competition after they finished third in Group A following their 1-0 victory over Ethiopia in the opening game followed by a narrow 1-0 defeat to Burkina Faso before playing out to a 1-1 draw against host nation Cameroon.
Senegal have been below par in front of goal and has only managed to find the back of the net on one occasion, which came from Liverpool star Sadio Mane, the upside is they are yet to concede a goal after three matches.
Cape Verde have only scored two goals and conceded two in their first three games in the tournament, which came from Garry Rodrigues and Julio Tavares, who scored their goals in the opening and last game in the group stages.
Both Senegalese goalkeepers Seny Dieng and Edouard Mendy has played a crucial role in helping them to qualify for the last 16 after they kept three clean sheets in three matches, Dieng keeping two in the first two games, while Mendy kept a clean sheet in their final group stage game.
Garry Rodrigues has been Cape Verde’s best player thus far as he created their first goal in their opening game against Ethiopia before finding his name on the scoresheet in their draw against Cameroon by scoring the equalising goal to hand his side a point.
Aliou Cissé will have a fully fit side for the encounter with the exception of Watford star Ismaïla Sarr, who continues to be sidelined with a ligament injury, while Bubista also only has one injury in his squad in the form of Beroe right back Steeve Furtado, who continues to mend his way back to full fitness from his respective injury.
Possible Starting Lineups:
Senegal: Edouard Mendy, Bouna Sarr, Kalidou Koulibaly, Abdou Diallo, Saliou Ciss, Idrrisa Gueye, Nampalys Mendy, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Sadio Mane, Habib Diallo, Boulaye Dia.
Cape Verde: Vozinha, Diney Borges, Roberto Lopes, Stopira, Jeffry Fortes, Patrick Andrade, Kenny Rocha Santos, Julio Tavarès, Lisandro Semedo, Jamiro Monteiro, Willy Semedo.