Senegal coach Aliou Cissé has announced a 24-man squad that will travel to South Africa for their next 2018 World Cup qualifier against Bafana Bafana in Polokwane on November 12.
Senegal beat Cape Verde 2-0 at home to top Group D in the opening round of matches, while South Africa drew 1-1 away to Burkina Faso.
The Teranga Lions are one of the African teams with the most varied selections of players plying their trade throughout the top European leagues.
As a result, they have a huge pool of players to choose from, and the competition to get into the Senegal squad is fierce. Despite this, coach Cissé surprised many by calling up debutant Abdullah Ndour of French second division outfit Racing Strasbourg as cover for the defence.
The Teranga Lions are particularly strong in attack, where they have called up Liverpool striker Sadio Mané, impressive Lazio youngster Diao Baldé Keita and Stoke City’s Mame Biram Diouf. Their attacking depth is so impressive that they will not miss Moussa Sow, who is unavailable through injury.
South Africa will find it very difficult to negotiate an experienced and powerful Senegalese side in this match, but Bafana have home advantage as well as a psychological edge, as the last time these two teams met it was the South Africans who emerged victorious, 1-0 in Johannesburg last year.
Bafana have been better in away games in recent times, struggling to get the win at home, but if they are not able to ensure a victory over their west African rivals in Polokwane, 2018 World Cup qualification will become increasingly unlikely.
Speaking to reporters after announcing his squad, Cissé said: ‘The match against South Africa is very important for us‚ and although we have the Nations Cup finals (in Gabon) coming up‚ we must focus solely on the South Africa game. It is a meeting of two great football nations‚ a prestigious match that will be highly competitive.’
Senegal squad for South Africa encounter
Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Çaykur Rizespor‚ Turkey)‚ Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya‚ Guinea)‚ Pape Seydou Ndiaye (Niarry Tally)
Defenders: Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes‚ France)‚ Fallou Diagne (Werder Bremen‚ Germany)‚ Lamine Gassama (Alanyspor‚ Turkey)‚ Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli‚ Italy)‚ Ibrahima Mbaye (Bologna‚ Italy)‚ Kara Mbodj (Anderlecht‚ Belgium)‚ Abdallah Ndour (Racing Strasbourg‚ France)‚ Zargo Toure (Lorient‚ France)
Midfielders: Moumhamed Diamé (Newcastle United‚ England)‚ Pape Kouly Diop (Espanyol‚ Spain)‚ Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton‚ England)‚ Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United‚ England)‚ Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Osmanlispor‚ Turkey)‚ Cheikh Ndoye (Angers‚ France)‚ Younouss Sankharé (Lille‚ France)
Forwards: Famara Diedhou (Angers‚ France)‚ Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City‚ England), Diao Baldé Keita (Lazio‚ Italy), Moussa Konate (Sion‚ Switzerland)‚ Sadio Mané (Liverpool‚ England)‚ Ismaila Sarr (Metz‚ France)