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SENEGAL WORRY OVER FITNESS OF KEY PLAYERS AHEAD OF AFCON

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Senegal’s quest to defend their Africa Cup of Nations title has been hit with a huge setback following injuries to key players.

Salernitana forward Boulaye Dia and Everton midfielder Iddrissa Gana Gueye picked up knocks in league games for their clubs over the weekend.

Dia is expected to be out for five weeks while Gueye’s situation is currently under observation. Both players have been pivotal for the Teranga Lions, playing a role in the West African nation’s first AFCON triumph in Cameroon last year.

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Gueye walked off during the game against Tottenham in the Premier League.

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that African champions, Senegal have been hit with a big blow just a month before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

RC Lens midfielder Nampalys Mendy could miss the tournament after limping off in the game against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

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Mendy suffered a knock in the 23rd minute and had to be replaced by Younes El-Aynaoui.

Sports Brief also reported that Barcelona defender Jules Kounde arrived in Senegal to a rapturous welcome following the break in La Liga for the winter holidays.

The France right-back took time off to visit the Be Sport Academy, which is in partnership with Spanish giants, Barcelona.

The Academy has a five-year agreement with the La Liga outfit, where young players are given the opportunity to fly to Spain for trials each year.

 Senegal opens her title defence with a match against neighbours Gambia on January 15 in Yamoussoukro.

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