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Senegal include Sadio Mane in squad to meet Bafana

18 October 2017 - 16:07 By Mark Gleeson
Hlompho Kekana of South Africa and Sadio Mane of Senegal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Polokwane.
Hlompho Kekana of South Africa and Sadio Mane of Senegal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Polokwane.
Image: GALLO IMAGES

Sadio Mane was a surprise inclusion as Senegal named their squad on Wednesday for next month’s decisive World Cup qualifiers against South Africa.

The Liverpool striker had been ruled out for up to two months by his club last week but was named nevertheless by coach Aliou Cisse in a 25-man party for the matches in Polokwane on Friday‚ November 10 and then in Dakar four days later.

Realistically Senegal need only draw the first game to set themselves up for only a second-ever World Cup finals appearance while Bafana Bafana must win both to come from behind to take the group and a place in the tournament in Russia next year.

There is just one change from the squad that beat the Cape Verde Islands away earlier this month with Ismailia Sarr of French club Stade Rennes falling out because of injury and the squad size being reduced by one.

Mane’s participation in the two games looks highly unlikely after he injured a hamstring in the 2-0 over the Cape Verde in Praia‚ meaning Senegal will again look to Diafra Sakho of West Ham United to lead their attack.

But there could be a starting line-up berth for Torino striker Mbaye Niang‚ who earlier this month has finally said yes to his country of origin and played as a substitute.

The French-born 22-year-old has a chequered past‚ littered with unsavoury episodes including a suspended 18-month jail sentence he received after injuring 11 people during a car crash.

Senegal squad

Goalkeepers: Clement Diop (LA Galaxy‚ US)‚ Alfred Gomis (SPAL‚ Italy)‚ Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya‚ Guinea)

Defenders: Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor‚ Turkey)‚ Fallou Diagne (Metz‚ France)‚ Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli‚ Italy)‚ Adama Mbengue (Caen‚ France)‚ Kara Mbodji (Anderlecht‚ Belgium)‚ Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Galatasaray‚ Turkey)‚ Youssouf Sabaly (Girondins Bordeaux‚ France)

Midfielders: Saliou Ciss (Angers‚ France)‚ Assane Diousse (St Etienne‚ France)‚ Idrissa Gueye (Everton‚ England)‚ Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United‚ England)‚ Alfred Ndiaye (Villarreal‚ Spain)‚ Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City‚ England)‚ Salif Sane (Hannover‚ Germany)‚ Moussa Wague (Eupen‚ Belgium)

Strikers: Balde Keita (Lazio‚ Italy)‚ Moussa Konate (Amiens‚ France)‚ Sadio Mane (Liverpool‚ England)‚ Mbaye Niang (Torino‚ Italy)‚ Opa Nguette (Metz‚ France)‚ Diafra Sakho (West Ham United‚ England)‚ Moussa Sow (Al Ahli‚ United Arab Emirates)

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