Harambee Stars AFCON opponents
(Left to right) Harambee Stars top striker Michael Olunga, Senegal captain Sadio Mane and Algeria star Riyadh Mahrez

Harambee Stars left for France early on Friday May 31, a day after being flagged off by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenya’s national football team will stage a three week training camp in Europe before heading to Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Meanwhile, Harambee Stars opponents Algeria and Senegal have released their final 23-man squads for the continental tourney.

Kenya will lock horns with the two nations as well as neighbours Tanzania in Cairo. Taifa Stars are yet to release their final squad for the tournament and so is Kenya.

There has not been many surprises in both Algeria’s and Senegal’s squads as all the names that are likely to cause Harambee Stars problems have been included.

Top Premier League stars Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Riyadh Mahrez (Algeria) have been included.

Loading...

In Senegal’s squad, Crystal Palace midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate has been listed as a defender, a role he can comfortably play. Kouyate will be teaming up with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly to try deny Kenyan strikers from finding the back of the net.

[Read: What coming into force of AfCFTA means for Africa]

Other defenders from the West African nation that Kenya’s star striker Michael Olunga will be facing are Schalke 04’s Salif Sane and FC Barcelona’s Moussa Wague.

Leading Senegal’s striking force will be the English Premier League top scorer Sadio Mane.

The Liverpool star will line up alongside Stade Rennais duo Ismailia Sarr and Mbaye Niang. Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye is expected to marshall the midfield for the Lions of Teranga.

The entire Senegal team comprises of Europe based players with a number of them playing for European giants.

Players at top European clubs include Wague who is on the books of Barcelona, Champions League finalist Mane and the defensive rock for both Napoli and the Lions of Teranga, Kalidou Koulibaly.

Algeria on the other hand were sure to include their main man Riyadh Mahrez who is a two time English Premier League champion.

Islam Slimani will partner up with Mahrez in attack for the Desert Foxes, a connection that has also existed at club level as they both used to play together when at Leicester City.

Algeria’s squad has two African-based player; Youcef Belaili who plays for Tunisia’s Esperance and Hicham Boudaoui who plays for Algeria’s Paradou.

It is however, every Kenyan’s hope that the training camp in France will give the squad enough preparation to face African giants Algeria and Senegal.

Algeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Rais M’Bolhi (El Etifaq, Saudi Arabia), Azzedine Doukha (Al Raed, Saudi Arabia), Alexandre Oukidja (Metz France)

Defenders: Aissa Mandi (Real Betis, Spain), Mehdi Zeffane (Rennes, France), Ramy Bensebaini (Rennes, France), Rafik Halliche (Moreirense, Portugal), Mehdi Tahrat (Lens, France), Djamel Benlamri (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Youcef Atal (Nice, France), Mohamed Fares (SPAL, Italy)

Midfielders: Haris Belkebla (Brest, France), Ismail Bennacer (Empoli, Italy), Mehdi Abeid (Dijon, France), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasary, Turkey), Adlene Guedioura (Nottingham Forest, England), Hicham Boudaoui (Paradou, Algeria)

Forwards: Adam Ounas (Napoli, Italy), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, England), Islam Slimani (Fenerbahce, Turkey), Yacine Brahimi (Porto, Portugal), Baghdad Bounedjah (Al Sadd, Qatar), Youcef Belaili (Esperance Tunisia)

Senegal Squad:

Goalkeepers: Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes, France), Alfred Gomis (SPAL, Italy), Edouard Mendy (Reims, France).

Defenders: Salif Sane (Schalke 04, Germany), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Pope Abou Cisse (Olympiacos, Greece), Lamine Gassama (Goztepe, Turkey), Moussa Wague (Barcelona FC, Spain), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Saliou Ciss (Valenciennes, France).

Midfielders: Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, England), Alfred Ndiaye (Malaga, Spain), Badou Ndiaye (Galatasaray, Turkey), Krépin Diatta (Brugge FC,Belgium), Cheikhou Kouyaté (Crystal Palace, England), Sada Thioub ( Nîmes, France), Sidy Sarr (Lorient, France), Henri Saivet (Bursaspor, Turkey).

Attackers: Keita Balde (Lazio, Italy), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Ismaïla Sarr (Rennes, France), Mbaye Diagne (Galatasaray, Turkey), Mbaye Niang (Rennes, France), Santy Ngom (Nancy, France).

[See Also: ARM administrators rejected higher bid for troubled company]

Tagged:
About the Author

Kevin Namunwa is a senior reporter for Business Today. Email at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *