Afcon 2019: ‘There’s no anti-Mahrez plan’ – Senegal coach Cisse

The Manchester City star played a key role to help the Desert Foxes to a winning start in the continental tournament

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has insisted there is no specific plan to stop Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez when they meet in their second Africa Cup of Nations game on Thursday.

Mahrez was on the scoresheet to help the Desert Foxes to a 2-0 victory over Kenya in their opening Group C game at the 30 June Stadium on Sunday.

Although aware of the potential of the Manchester City winger, the Teranga Lions gaffer has not mapped out a strategy to man-mark the winger or any other player in the Algerian squad.

“There’s no anti-Mahrez plan or similar for [Sofiane] Feghouli or [Yacine] Brahimi, they’re all good players,” Cisse said in a pre-match press conference.

“We’re approaching this match trying to care of what we need to do. There’s nothing definitive riding on this match because there’s still another one after that against Kenya.

“It’s an important match, we have three points but we’re not qualified yet. To go far in this competition you need to win as many matches as possible.”

Senegal will welcome back their star man and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane for their meeting with the Desert Foxes, after missing their opening 2-0 win over Tanzania.

“The return of Sadio Mane can give us a boost. He’s one of our leaders and he’s ready,” Cisse continued.

The Teranga Lions are regarded as favourites for the African title, given the wealth of talent in Aliuo Cisse’s team.

“What does a team need to be African champions? If I had the recipe I think I’d keep it to myself,” Cisse maintained.

“You need to be tough mentally and ready to suffer. It’s not easy to play in Africa, you can do well in Europe but not find your bearings here.”

The 2002-runners up will take on Kenya in their last Group C game at 30 June Stadium on July 1.


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