The Lions of Teranga and the Desert Foxes will negotiate the African landscape tonight in Egypt as only one set of players can call themselves Champions of Africa.
It all boils down to tonight at the Cairo International Stadium with two talented sides with contrasting styles battle for the continent's biggest prize.
Senegal's Lions of Teranga, like their namesakes, are strong, courageous, powerful and ferocious. They've won three matches in a row without conceding a goal, putting their bodies on the line to protect what they've got for their country. Cissé's charges seem to be peaking at exactly the right time, keeping clean sheets in all of their knockout clashes. Talisman and skipper Sadio Mané has endured a mixed tournament, scoring three times but missing twice from the penalty spot. If ever there was a time for Sadio to rise to Senegal's call, that time is now. Also, don't underestimate the combative influence of midfield general Idrissa Gana Gueye. The Everton man embodies their style with his complete, box-to-box approach and Senegal’s changes hinge on him breaking up Algeria’s rhythm.
Algeria's smart, savvy side kept clean sheets all through the group stages and the round of 16. Their defence was finally breached by Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals, but Algeria kept their nerve to win that clash on penalties. In the semifinals some late, late wizardry from a Riyad Mahrez free-kick sent the Desert Foxes into the final, breaking Nigerian hearts in the process. This Algeria side seems to know what it takes to get the job done on the grand stage when it matters. Can their intelligence, technical prowess and passing game outwit the sheer physicality of Senegal?
Wherever you are in the world, make sure it's a match that you do not miss.
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