Senegal and Uganda, who both finished second in their respective first round groups, clash at the Cairo International Stadium this Friday evening as the Africa Cup of Nations reaches the knock-out stages. Uganda reached this stage of the tournament after beating DR Congo in their first game, before drawing against Zimbabwe and losing to Egypt in their other games. That is not a record that inspires much confidence in the team’s abilities.
The Senegalese won two and lost one of their group games, beating Tanzania and Kenya, but losing to Algeria. Liverpool forward Sadio Mane had a penalty saved against the Kenyans, and the Senegalese have not looked at their fluent best so far during this tournament. It should be an interesting game on Friday night in Cairo.
Uganda vs Senegal Prediction: Uganda 1-2 Senegal
Our prediction for this game is that Senegal will edge it 2-1, possibly after extra time. Uganda’s record in the group stages of this tournament was pretty poor, really, and they scraped through to the knock-out stages. While Senegal did not have a significantly better record than their opponents, they have managed to win two games, and they have a genuinely world class attacker in their ranks, in the shape of Sadio Mane, who just won the Champions League with Liverpool. Uganda have also had some trouble in the camp, with players refusing to train in a dispute over pay.
Our recommended tip: Senegal, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from William Hill, who are offering odds of 19/5 on Senegal to win and both teams to score. As the bookies have made Senegal pretty strong favourites for this tie it is hard for punters to find good value. This bet offers really good value in terms of the odds on offer. There is also a fair bit of flexibility when it comes to the actual final scoreline, though we expect Senegal to find this game pretty straightforward in the end, once they have found some rhythm and tempo.
These two sides have played each other on five previous occasions. Uganda have won none of those games, while Senegal have emerged victorious from two, and there have been three draws. The first ever competitive meeting between the teams was in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2001, and it ended in a 1-1 draw.
The teams last played each other in 2017, when they met in a friendly international. The game ended in a goalless draw. In their last competitive meeting, in a World Cup qualifier in 2013, Senegal won a home game 1-0.
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Players to watch: Patrick Kaddu & Sadio Mane
Patrick Kaddu scored Uganda’s opening goal of the tournament, in their 2-0 group stage victory over DR Congo. He played a key role in Uganda qualifying for the tournament, after scoring his first international goal in a victory over Cape Verde in 2018. The 23-year-old plays his club football in Uganda for KCCA and is largely unknown outside of Africa. This is his chance to attract attention from big clubs outside of Africa.
Liverpool striker Sadio Mane, who won the Champions League with his club just a few weeks ago, is probably the biggest star playing in this game. The pressure will be on the Reds forward to produce, after missing a penalty earlier in the tournament. He has shown over the years that he is the type of player who can deliver on the big occasion, though, and he will be relishing the chance to succeed with his nation.