The Stallions of Burkina Faso and Senegal’s Teranga Lions will take to the field in the Semi-Final of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, 02 February.
Neither Burkina Faso nor Senegal has won the AFCON title. In 2013 Burkina Faso lost out to Nigeria, while in 2019, Senegal finished in second place, defeated by Algeria.
Burkina Faso and Senegal are no strangers to each other. The teams have met 12 times across all competitions, with each match closely contested and the last three ending in draws.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams in the knockout stage of the competition. While Senegal is ranked the best team in Africa and was the only side to keep a clean sheet in their group stage, this match is expected to be a tough one. Burkina Faso’s defence will be difficult to crack.
Burkina Faso suffered an opening game loss to host Cameroon, but they have been consistent in their game. A win over Cape Verde and a draw against Ethiopia saw them finish second in the group stages. In the last 16 they defeated Gabon 7-6 on penalties.
Their best performance in tournament so far was in the quarter-finals against Tunisia, where they dominated the game. A goal by their youngster Dango Ouattara was enough to send them through to the semis, but Ouattara won’t be playing in the final as he was sent off in the dying stages of the match against Tunisia. All of Burkina Faso will be pinning their hopes on Bertrand Traore in the semi-final.
Senegal joined AFCON with a thin squad depleted by Covid. They made the most of what they had and managed to qualify for the knockout stages at the top of their group. They moved forward with a solid defence and have found their feet as the competition has progressed.
The Teranga Lions beat Cape Verde 2-0 in the last 16, and in the quarter-finals, they were back to full strength and showed why they are amongst the favourites to win the title. Aliou Cisse’s team looked formidable and played at their level best when they beat Equatorial Guinea 3-1.
Each team will want their star players to be at peak performance on Wednesday. Burkina Faso will be pinning their hopes on Bertrand Traore in their semi-final, while Liverpool star Sadio Mane will look to carry Senegal to a second consecutive AFCON final.
Our prediction is that both teams will score, but Senegal has the stronger squad and should be able to defeat Burkina Faso by 2-0 to advance to the final.
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