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African influence at 2018 FIFA World Cup: How will Senegal fare and who will shine in Russia?

Posted: 12 June 2018 Time: 18:00

Senegal are one of two sides at the FIFA World Cup whose 23-man squad hold no domestic league representation, but which of their star players based in Europe will stand out in Russia?

Grouped alongside Japan, Poland and 2014 quarter-finalists Colombia, Senegal have one of the more favorable groups amongst the five African representatives in Eastern Europe this month.

However, with an array of options for head coach Alou Cisse at his disposal, there have been question marks surrounding who will lead the West African side. 

READ: Senegal plan to outdo class of 2002

Senegalese born striker Mame Niang, a well-known figure in South African football, picks four players who are likely to rise to the occasion for the Lions of Teranga.

Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy)

"He plays for Napoli and I feel if Senegal is to do well, he is going to play a big role. He is a leader and he is rated as one of the best defender in Europe, so he will definitely be someone to look out for."

Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England)

"Obviously you cannot leave out Sadio Mane. He is the star of the team and he is the one who is going to make things happen going forward for the team. I know that he is going to do well, that’s for sure."

Keita Balde (AS Monaco, France)

"I don’t know how fit he is going into the World Cup. But if he is fit, he can win games for Senegal. Technically, I believe he is as good as Sadio Mane or even better, but he has been struggling with injuries. So I am hoping he can be fit and do something for Senegal."

Badou Ndiaye (Stoke City, England)

"He is not well known yet, but he is a good player and I believe he is going to play a role. He plays in the midfield. Many people have not had a chance to see him play, but I think he is going to have a good World Cup."

Article by: KICK OFF
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