Senegal’s Sadio Mané is the most prominent injury victim in Group A
One of the dark horses could be missing a key player in the first games of the World Cup. Sadio Mané, superstar of Senegal, fears for his participation in the World Cup.
When Senegal meet the Netherlands on 21 November, they could be missing a player who can make all the difference.
The 30-year-old Bayern foreign player Sadio Mané is suffering from a tendon injury and is doubtful for the tournament. For the overall rather fragile Senegal team, this would be the worst possible loss.
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Key player in winning the Africa Cup
Senegal won the Africa Cup for the first time in February. The team remained unbeaten in all matches, only suffering two draws against Guinea and Malawi in the group stage and winning the final against Egypt on penalties.
Mané played in all matches and scored three goals and two assists. In the last four test matches for Senegal alone, Mané scored five goals, which clearly highlights his importance for the team.
Strong at Bayern Munich, but no Lewandowski replacement
Mané also found his feet at his new club Bayern Munich, scoring eleven goals and four assists in his first 23 games.. The Senegalese is therefore also an important player for Bayern, but not an equal replacement for the Pole Robert Lewandowski, who left for Barcelona.
Mané’s scoring figures were also somewhat higher at Liverpool than at Bayern.
Not the only one to miss out
Senegal may also have to play without some other players. RB Leipzig centre back Abdou Diallo is suffering from knee problems and could be out for the start of the tournament at least. This would also be a major setback for Aliou Cissé’s team, especially as Diallo forms the centre back with captain Kalidou Koulibaly.
Bouna Sarr is also missing
With Bouna Sarr, another Bayern player will be missing for the Senegalese. The full-back, who is far from being Bayern’s first choice, but is a clear starter in the Senegalese national team, is currently suffering from patella tendon problems and has already announced that he will not be able to take part in the tournament in Qatar.
Senegal have biggest injury worries in Group A
Africa Cup winners as co-favourites for promotion
Ecuador are also considered to have a decent chance of making it through to the round of 16, which would be quite sensational.