Football Previews

Senegal v Algeria: Preview & predictions ahead of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final

By CJ Smith

Published: 13:25, 17 July 2019

The starting 24 nations have now been whittled down to two as we reach the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. 

Senegal and Algeria face off in Cairo this Friday having scored the highest number of goals (eight and 12) and overcome two tough semi-final tests against Tunisia and Nigeria.

Senegal crept past Tunisia with a 1-0 extra-time win after both sides had already missed a penalty, while Algeria needed an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez to secure their passage to Friday’s showpiece.

Read on for Senegal vs Algeria TV channel info, team news, stats and predictions.

When is Senegal vs Algeria?

Competition: 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Venue: Cairo International Stadium

Date: Friday, July 19

Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Where can I watch live?

UK residents can watch the 2019 Afcon final on Eurosport 2, channel 411 for Sky TV customers and channel 522 for Virgin Media users.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

Match preview

Algeria have arguably been the best team at Afcon 2019 and are fully deserving of their place in Friday’s final. El Khadra have outscored every team in the tournament so far, notching an impressive 12 goals – four clear of Nigeria and Senegal.

Senegal, of course, have fearsome attackers such as Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr and Keita Balde to call upon, but the Lions of Teranga have already fallen to Algeria once in Egpyt: their 1-0 group stage defeat in Cairo. Senegal have won every game since then, though, scoring six without reply, while star man Mane has grown into the tournament with each passing match.

He and Riyad Mahrez – who scored a wonderful late free-kick to get Algeria to this stage – will obviously play key roles for their nations, but watch out for the likes of Adam Ounas and Ismaila Sarr, whose pace from the bench has caused havoc at times this summer.

This one has all the ingredients to be the perfect showpiece.

Who is still in the race for the Afcon 2019 Golden Boot?

The race for the Afcon 2019 Golden Boot is absolutely wide open. Odion Ighalo’s fine form has elevated him to the top of the goalscoring charts with four strikes but just behind him on three are Algeria’s Ounas and Mahrez, as well as Senegal’s Mane. DR Congo’s Cedric Bakambu also has three goals but with no more games left to play, he can’t extend his total.

Ighalo has a third-place playoff match against Tunisia still to play and if goalkeeper Mouez Hassen continues to be as erratic as he has been throughout the tournament, the former Watford man could fill his boots.

The final between Senegal and Algeria may very well be a tighter affair but Mane and Mahrez will no doubt be the ones their teammates will look to for their nation’s openings, so don’t bet against them notching in a couple of goals.

An unfavourable record to derail Senegal?

With the likes of Mane and Sarr within their ranks – as well as Idrissa Gueye anchoring the midfield – there are few teams in Africa who Senegal should fear. However, Friday’s showdown pits Aliou Cisse’s side against one of their perennial bogey teams.

The last time Senegal managed a victory against their North African adversaries was way back in May 2008 when a goal from Abdoulaye Faye sealed a 1-0 win.

Since then, these two sides have faced off five times, with Algeria winning four and drawing the other, scoring nine goals in the process.

This is arguably the best side Senegal have ever assembled so confidence will be high regardless, and records are there to be broken. That said, the weight of history has come down hard on the very best in football time and time again.

Team news

Both sides are clear of injury heading into the final but Senegal will have to cope without defensive colossus Kalidou Koulibaly, who is suspended. FC Schalke’s Salif Sane is likely to step in to fill the void.

Senegal predicted XI: Gomis; Gassama, Kouyate, Sane, Sabaly; Saivet, Ndiaye, Gueye; Sarr, Niang, Mane

Algeria predicted XI: M’bolhi; Zeffane, Mandi, Benlamri, Bensebaini; Guedioura, Bennacer, Feghouli; Mahrez, Bounedjah, Belaili

Squawka prediction

Algeria have been the best side in the tournament so far and have already beaten Senegal 1-0 in the group stages, but things could be totally different in a final.

Mahrez and Mane will obviously play key roles for their teams but it’ll be in the midfield where the game is won and lost. If Idrissa Gueye can channel his energy to silence the likes of Bennacer and Feghouli, it could release Senegal’s seriously impressive forward line to wreak havoc.

Senegal 2-1 Algeria AET