Cisse aims to channel Reds approach

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse says he wants his team to play with the same intensity as Sadio Mane’s Liverpool when they face Egypt (To lift the trophy – Senegal 1/2, Egypt 6/4) in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

The Lions of Teranga are looking to win the tournament for the first time after suffering defeat in the final back in 2002 and 2019.

They face a big task on Sunday as they take on Egypt at Cameroon’s Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.

The Pharaohs are seeking an eighth AFCON title and first since 2010 after overcoming hosts Cameroon on penalties in the semi-final.

A lot of the build-up to the match has focused on the duel between Liverpool team-mates Mane and Mo Salah, who will be rivals for at least 90 minutes in the contest.

Liverpool’s success over the past few years under Jurgen Klopp is owed in large part to Salah and Mane, with the African duo and Roberto Firmino one of the deadliest front three in world football at their best.

Mane has brought that form to the international stage, scoring three goals (Anytime scorer – 21/10) and assisting two en route to the final.

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There have been suggestions that Senegal are overly reliant on Mane’s talent, but Cisse, runner up as a player 20 years ago and manager three years ago, has dismissed them.

He wants Senegal to play with energy in the final in order to finally cross the line and win the AFCON.

“Many people claim we have a dependence on him, but us as head coaches, we build our team around our best players,” Cisse said. “We have built a team around him in the same way that he does at Liverpool.

“To do this, we have to play with intensity, we need that same intensity to support him to allow him to express himself [as he does with Liverpool].

“He’s strong mentally, he leads the way for our team, and it’s very good for me, as a coach of this team, to have this player in the dressing room.”

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