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TODAY AT AFCON

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Gambia Vs Cameroon 5PM / Guinea Vs Senegal 5PM

Cameroon have one more chance to rescue their AFCON 2023 campaign, and will almost certainly need to beat Gambia at Stade de Bouaké on Matchday 3 to have a chance of advancing to the round of 16.

The 2017 AFCON champions have just one point from their first two games in Group C, having drawn with Guinea before losing to Senegal. Fail to win here and they will probably be out of the tournament.

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It would be quite a blow for goalkeeper André Onana, who only recently arrived in Ivory Coast. He missed Cameroon’s opener against Guinea due to commitments with Manchester United, and could be back in England without having missed a game for his club unless the Indomitable Lions can get through.

Rigobert Song’s men were well beaten 3-1 by Senegal on MD 2, despite Jean-Charles Castelletto pulling a late goal back. At the time it reduced the deficit to 2-1 as Cameroon looked to fight back, but Sadio Mané put the game to bed deep into stoppage time.

Their opponents are in an even more desperate situation, with Gambia pointless after two games having lost to Senegal and Guinea. They will need to win here and hope results elsewhere see them go through as one of the four best third-place teams.

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Gambia looked for a while like they might be able to take a point from their game with Guinea on MD 2, but ultimately fell to a goal from Aguibou Camara scored with just over 20 minutes remaining. Tom Saintfiet’s side were unable to record a shot on target, ending the game with an expected goals total of just 0.37.

Head-to-head

This will be just the second AFCON meeting between Gambia and Cameroon after facing off in the quarter-finals two years ago. Cameroon won that clash 2-0 thanks to two goals from Karl Toko-Ekambi.

Gambia have lost all three of their previous matches against Cameroon in all competitions, failing to score a single goal and conceding five.

Prediction

Cameroon may be without a win so far, but the Opta supercomputer thinks they’ll make it third time lucky here. The Indomitable Lions have a 58.5% chance of victory, while Gambia are handed just a 14.5% probability of taking the three points. The draw, which would help neither team, is rated at 27.0%.

In the week leading up to AFCON 2023, our pre-tournament predictions had six teams above Cameroon in terms of likelihood of winning the trophy. Their single point from their first two games has hindered their chances further, with just a 4.7% chance of winning AFCON 2023 as of writing. They do have a greater than 60% chance of making it to the last 16, though.

Gambia’s prospects are significantly slimmer, with a less than 10% chance of making it to the knockout stage.

Squads

Gambia: Modou Jobe, Lamin Sarr, Baboucarr Gaye, Ibou Touray, Omar Colley, Bubacarr Sanneh, Saidy Janko, James Gomez, Noah Sonko Sundberg, Jacob Mendy, Muhammed Sanneh, Sulayman Marreh, Ablie Jallow, Dawda Ngum, Alasana Manneh, Yusupha Bobb, Hamza Barry, Ebou Adams, Ebrima Darboe, Assan Ceesay, Muhammed Badamosi, Abdoulie Sanyang, Musa Barrow, Ebrima Colley, Yankuba Minteh, Alieu Fadera, Ali Sowe.

Coach: Tom Saintfiet

Cameroon: André Onana, Fabrice Ondoa, Dévis Epassy, Simon Ngapandouetnbu, Nouhou Tolo, Junior Tchamadeu, Oumar Gonzalez, Darlin Yongwa, Christopher Wooh, Harold Moukoudi, Jean-Charles Castelletto, Enzo Tchato, Malcom Bokélé, Yvan Neyou, Olivier Kemen, Frank Anguissa, Ben Elliott, Wilfried Nathan Douala, Olivier Ntcham, Karl Toko-Ekambi, Frank Magri, Vincent Aboubakar, Moumi Ngamaleu, Faris Moumbagna, Leonel Ateba, Georges-Kévin Nkoudou, Clinton N’Jie.

Coach: Rigobert Song

Preview

Senegal’s defence of their AFCON title could barely have started better. The Teranga Lions followed up a 3-0 win over Gambia on Matchday 1 with a 3-1 victory against Cameroon on Friday.

Those two wins have sent Aliou Cissé’s side through with a game to spare, though they will need to avoid defeat against Guinea on MD 3 at Stade Charles Konan Banny to confirm their place at the top of Group C.

Senegal

Ismaïla Sarr gave Senegal an early lead against Cameroon, before Habib Diallo added a second from a Sarr cross. Jean-Charles Castelletto thundered in a header to halve the deficit, but Sadio Mané put the game to bed deep into stoppage time with an accurate finish past André Onana.

Guinea are handily placed to join Senegal in the last 16 but will want to avoid the uncertainty of finishing third, with only four of the six third-placed teams going through.

Kaba Diawara’s men were made to work for their win over Gambia but finally found a way through when Aguibou Camara scored with just over 20 minutes remaining in their MD 2 clash. They prevented Gambia from having a single shot on target, but could only find the net once themselves despite having 16 shots and an expected goals total of 2.21.

Head-to-head

This will be the fourth AFCON meeting between Guinea and Senegal. Only Ghana have faced Guinea on more occasions (6) at the tournament.

Senegal have not lost to Guinea in three meetings at the Africa Cup of Nations, with two wins and one draw: 2-1 in 1994 (group stage), 3-2 in 2006 (quarter-final) and 0-0 in 2022 (group stage). Guinea did score the opening goal in each of their two defeats, though.

Prediction

Senegal need just a point to secure top spot in Group C but will surely want to make it three wins from three as they seek to successfully defend their AFCON crown. The Opta supercomputer makes them favourites to beat Guinea, with a 39.9% chance of so. The draw still suits them, which has a 35.1% likelihood, while the Syli National have a 25.0% chance of winning and taking first place from them.

In the week leading up to AFCON 2023, our pre-tournament predictions had Senegal as favourites to lift the trophy, though they recently slipped behind Morocco into second place.

Guinea will feel confident of advancing with a 98.0% chance of progressing (at the time of writing), so says the supercomputer.:

Squads

Guinea: Ibrahim Koné, Aly Keita, Moussa Camara, Mohamed Ali Camara, Sekou Sylla, Julian Jeanvier, Saïdou Sow, Mouctar Diakhaby, Antoine Conté, Issiaga Sylla, Ibrahim Diakité, Seydouba Cissé, Amadou Diawara, Naby Keïta, Mory Konaté, Ilaix Moriba, Abdoulaye Touré, Aguibou Camara, Mohamed Bayo, José Kanté, Serhou Guirassy, Morgan Guilavogui, Facinet Conté, Karim Cissé, François Kamano.

Coach: Kaba Diawara

Senegal: Mory Diaw, Seny Dieng, Édouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Youssouf Sabaly, Ismail Jakobs, Formose Mendy, Abdoulaye N’Diaye, Abdou Diallo, Fodé Ballo-Touré, Abdoulaye Seck, Moussa Niakhaté, Krépin Diatta, Idrissa Gueye, Pathé Ciss, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Nampalys Mendy, Lamine Camara, Pape Gueye, Pape Sarr, Sadio Mané, Habib Diallo, Nicolas Jackson, Boulaye Dia, Ismaïla Sarr, Iliman Ndiaye, Abdallah Sima.

Coach: Aliou Cissé  

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