Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly has revealed what he believes it will take for his side to overcome Egypt ahead of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off tonight.
2021 Africa Cup of Nations winners Senegal will once again face the Pharaohs after beating them to the continental crown in February.
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The two nations are set to do battle in Cairo on Friday night, before meeting again four days later in the return leg of the tie, and while both countries qualified for the 2018 World Cup, this time around only one will feature at Qatar 2022, making the stakes arguably higher than when they met at the Afcon final in Cameroon last month.
Napoli star and Lions of Teranga captain Koulibaly has made it clear he understands this, and believes his team has improved since their last match-up against the Pharaohs.
"We are ready for the match, especially since we have met Egypt since the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, which makes the match more difficult," the defender said in a pre-match press conference.
"We are now more prepared since a lot of time has passed."
The last time Senegal played at the Cairo International Stadium, they were beaten by Algeria in the 2019 Afcon final, an event that is still fresh in the mind of the West African centre-back.
"It was a very difficult match. I watched it from the stands, and when I entered the stadium, I remembered that match," he added.
"Everyone knows that and gives us more of a push, which encourages us to take our revenge and win on the field despite everything.
"We will give our best to overcome this pressure."
Koulibaly also spoke of playing against Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah, who is the Egyptians' biggest threat.
"I played a lot against Salah since he was in Rome. For me, Salah and Mane are the main strengths for both teams," he continued.
"We will not focus on Salah only, but we will focus on all the players.
"We will make sure not to concede any goals and try to take advantage of opportunities to score."
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