Kenya v Senegal: Cisse's men are mentally weak, claims Migne

Head coaches Sebastien Migne and Aliou Cisse traded verbal blows ahead of the crunch match between Kenya and Senegal in Cairo.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse fumes at his counterpart Sebastien Migne questioning the mentality of his team.   -  Getty Images

Kenya coach Sebastien Migne started a war of words with Aliou Cisse by questioning Senegal's mental strength ahead of the sides' Africa Cup of Nations clash.

The teams meet in Cairo on Monday to fight it out for qualification from Group C and are locked on three points each after two games played, with Senegal two goals better off.

Migne, whose side clinched a vital 3-2 win over Tanzania on Thursday, suggested the pressure of the third and final group game might affect Senegal, which lost for the first time in nine matches when it slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Algeria last time out.

"We know that from time to time, the mentality of Senegalese players may have some weaknesses," Migne told reporters.

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"I hope that will be the case tomorrow, as they are under pressure. If our system works we can hurt our opponents very much. They have a lot of experience and in my opinion they are the biggest favourites for the tournament. It will be a difficult match but we are ready for it."

Migne's comments seemed to infuriate Cisse, whose side narrowly missed out on reaching the knockout stages at Russia 2018.

Defeat to Algeria was Senegal's first since its 1-0 reverse against Colombia at the World Cup, and Cisse defended his players, who won their last four AFCON qualifying matches without conceding a goal.

"What does he [Migne] know about the mentality of Senegal?" fumed Cisse. "What does he know about our players? How can he say that we don't have the right mentality?

"I think my counterpart has to take care of his own team. We went to the World Cup a while ago. This was our first defeat in Africa in a long time."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kenya - Michael Olunga

The quality of Olunga's finishing made the difference against Tanzania, and with Kenya's defence unlikely to withstand the Senegal attack for the full 90 minutes the Harambee Stars will be relying on its target man to bury his chances.

Senegal - Kalidou Koulibaly

Senegal has kept a clean sheet in six of its last eight matches in all competitions and the steely resolve of Napoli's Koulibaly sets the tone at the back.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Kenya is winless in its three games against Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations (D1 L2), failing to score in each meeting.
- Kenya has won two of tits last three games in the AFCON (L1) after failing to win its first 13 (D4 L9).
- Senegal has lost only once in its last six games in the AFCON (W3 D2) but it was the last one, against Algeria.
- Kenya has conceded at least two goals in seven of its last eight games in the AFCON (17 goals overall).

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