Match Time:7/10/2019 23:59 Wednesday(GMT+8)
The African Nations Cup has now reached the quarter-final stage, with Senegal facing Benin in the first encounter of the round of last 8. Senegal defeated Uganda 1:0 in the last 16, judging from the scoreline maybe it was a hard fought game, in fact although Uganda did pretty well in the game, overall it was Senegal who dominated the game with a convincing win.
As I have mentioned before, as long as Senegal returns to the 4-2-3-1 formation, their power would have been tremendous, especially when Crystal Palace defensive midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate being pulled back, and formed a defensive partnership with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, the defense improves tremendously , when their man-marking is second to none and have been great in the air, it is really hard to break down their defense. In fact, in last year’s World Cup, Senegal manager Aliou Cisse has already proved himself worthy, as under the 4-2-3-1 formation, Sadio Mane and Ismaila Sarr could express themselves freely on the wings, this was one of the main reasons why both Senegal’s attacking and defending have been top-notch. However, there is something that Senegal needs to pay attention to, as Sadio Mane has already missed penalties twice in the tournament, this could be a stumbling rock for them to go further.
Benin are a very fortunate team in the tournament, as they have drawn all 3 games in the group stage, only advancing to the last 16 as one of the best third teams, and eliminated the much-fancied Morocco on penalties. Undoubtedly, Benin’s defensive approach worked well, as they have been waiting for chances in the first half, and opened the scoring from a corner, after Morocco equalised they did have a chance to take the lead, but only for Hakim Ziyech to miss the penalty in stoppage time. As we can see, Benin’s defensive tactics do have their weakness, as they tend to struggle while facing technically skilled wingers. As the pair of wingers are Senegal’s strongest points, this is exactly what worries Benin the most, hence my prediction is for Senegal to win by at least a 2 goals margin.
Senegal VS Benin