Harambee Stars will on Monday evening play Senegal in a do or die final group C match at the Air Defense stadium in Cairo, Egypt.
It’s a match that both teams need to pick at least one point to ensure passage to the round of 16. After two rounds of matches, the two teams have picked three points each with wins over Tanzania.
The Lions of Terenga, the number one team in the continent head into the game as clear favorites and they will be looking to bounce back from Thursday’s controversial defeat to Algeria. Kenya, on the other hand, will be buoyed by their comeback win over Tanzania on Thursday and head into the game full of confidence.
They are the underdogs going into the game basing on FIFA ranking and quality of players in the team. They were outplayed by Algeria in the first game last Sunday and had to scrap through to beat Tanzania on Thursday, they were far from convincing throughout the game.
Kenya’s main problem is at the back. The fullbacks have been far from convincing and it’s an area opponent having been using to hurt Kenya. Abud Omar or Erick Ouma in the left-back position and David Owino or Bernard Ochieng in the right-back position will have to be at their best against Senegal’s pacy attackers.
Kenya’s attack led by Michael Olunga showed they can be a huge threat, the Japan-based striker will face against arguably Africa’s best defender in Kalidou Koulibaly on Monday and with help from the likes of Ayub Timbe, Erick Johanna and Johanna Omollo Kenya can cause Senegal problems at the back.
Kenya has also been handed a major boost with key defender Joash Onyango resuming training. If passed fit to play, Joash will help stabilize Kenya’s backline by giving the coach options at the back.
Senegal boasts of one of the best attacks in the continent. The number one team in Africa has been likes of Sadio Mane, Keita Balde and Mbaye Niang who can cause many defenses problems.
In Kenya, they face a side with defensive fragilities. If they can be at their best going forward, then they can easily hurt the Sebastien Migne coached side by exploiting the loophole in Kenya’s defense.
Their midfield is also solid. In Cheikhou Kouyate, Idrissa Gueye and wonderkid Krepin Diatta, the Lions of Teranga have a compact midfield that can keep the ball well and feed the attackers.
At the back, Napoli’s rock of Gibraltar Kalidou Koulibaly will lead his partners in defense in stopping the likes of Michael Olunga, Ayub Timbe, and John Avire.
The last time the two teams faced off was at the 2004 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia where Senegal thumped Kenya 3-0. Based on the quality of the two sides, Senegal will carry the day with a narrow win over Stars.
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