Senegal, ranked No. 20 in the world, is the highest-ranked team remaining in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Naturally, they are one of the favourites to lift the trophy.
By contrast, Cape Verde ranked No. 73 in the world are among the outsiders coached by Can Bubista ready to upset the odds tonight.
Although Senegal have yet to taste defeat at AFCON 2021, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that they failed to live up to expectations during the group stages.
In their first match, the Lions of Teranga required a 97th-minute penalty from Liverpool forward Sadio Mane to edge out Zimbabwe 1-0.
They were then held to goalless draws by Guinea and Malawi, meaning they finished just one point ahead of those two sides in Group B.
Although Senegal have yet to concede a goal at AFCON 2021, they have only managed to score a single goal in reply. Still, the Lions of Teranga will be confident of getting past Cape Verde, having avoided defeat in each of their previous 13 games across all competitions.
Meanwhile, Cape Verde picked up four points during the group stage to finish as one of the best third-placed teams. After beating Ethiopia 1-0, they lost to Burkina Faso by the same scoreline before holding host nation Cameroon to a 1-1 draw.
As a result, each of Cape Verde’s last six Africa Cup of Nations clashes have produced under 2.5 goals. That means we should see a relatively low-scoring encounter on Tuesday.
Having lost just two of their previous 15 matches in all competitions, Bubista’s side won’t go down without a fight. The two sides played a couple of World Cup qualifiers in 2016 and 2017, with Senegal winning both matches 2-0.
Head-to-head: Senegal and Cape Verde have faced each other 18 times over the years, with Cape Verde winning on just two occasions.
Team news: With Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly back from COVID, Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse has a full-strength squad to choose from.
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