The AFCON finals take place on Sunday, and that is something we’ve all been waiting for for so long. Senegal and Egypt face one another in this clash, with two Liverpool megastars being in the center of the same – Mane and Salah. We’re more than sure that Jurgen Klopp isn’t very happy about this because he needs both of these guys in perfect shape for the remainder of the year. Senegal is after its first title since 2012, while on the other side, Egypt wants to win and get the eighth title, which would be a record.
After a slow start, the Lions of Teranga began firing on all cylinders. Eight goals in three knockout stage events can picture what we are saying and are clear proof. After packing two hits in Cape Verde’s net, they scored three each against Equatorial Guinea and Burkina Faso.
On the other hand, Senegal’s defense slowed down a little bit, allowing at least one goal in each of those three elimination events. Opposite to that, Cisse’s unit kept its net intact throughout all 270 minutes of the group stage battles.
Senegal’s biggest weapon is a very fast and fluid transition, led by Mane. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Lions of Teranga don’t know how to play with the ball in their possession, but simply, in these situations, they are the most dangerous.
The Pharaons had a lot of trouble reaching the finals, in which they won’t have Carlos Quieroz, their head coach. The Portuguese received a red card against Cameroon in the semifinals, which automatically disqualified him for the title game.
Back to Egypt’s road to the finals. On their way here, they had to face four favorites for winning the tournament – Nigeria (group stage), Ivory Coast, Morocco, and Cameroon in the knockout rounds. As you can see, they eliminated all of them, with the note that Salah and the co. didn’t allow a single goal in four of the games at this tournament.
This is a true success, particularly because they went through two penalty shootouts, vs Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Goalkeeper Gabaski was incredible on Thursday night, saving three of four penalties.
Head to Head
We haven’t seen these two sides meet in a long time, to be exact, since 2014. Back then, Senegal and Egypt played in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, and the Lions of Terranga won both matchups, 2-0 at home and 0-1 in Egypt.
Salah exploded in the quarterfinals scoring a goal and making an assist. Mane, on the other side, creates 80% of the chances for Senegal’s team. Yet, all-Liverpool finals won’t bring too many goals, be sure about that. The stakes are very high, and nobody wants to open early on and risk falling behind. By the way, four of the 11 AFCON finals ended without goals, and that tradition needs to be respected in this case.
Under 2.5 goals is the first choice, and the second is both teams not to score. Whichever you choose, be sure that you won’t be wrong.
Pick: Under 2.5 goals 1/3
Both teams not to score 1/2 at BetXchange