Preview: Rwanda vs Senegal – prediction, team news, rosters


Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Rwanda and Senegal, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Looking to make it two out of two wins and extend their lead at the top of Group L, Senegal clash with Rwanda at Stade Me Abdoulaye Wade during the CAN 2023 qualifiers on Tuesday.

The Amavubi, who are on an eight-match winless streak in all competitions, will be looking to halt their slump and get their campaign going.

Match Preview

© Reuters

Rwanda, whose last African Cup of Nations appearance was in 2004, were denied a dream start to their 2023 qualifiers as they were held 1-1 by Mozambique on Wednesday.

After an uneventful first half at FNB Stadium, Blaise Nishimwe gave Amuvabi the lead in the 65th minute but Stanley Ratifo scored two minutes later to force a share of the spoils.

Rwanda have now won none of their last eight games in all competitions, losing six and claiming a draw since beating the Central African Republic 5-0 in a friendly in June 2021.

However, Carlos AlosThe team are unbeaten in their last five CAN qualifiers – with four draws and one win – dating back to a 1-0 loss to Cameroon in 2019.

Senegalese Abdou Diallo celebrates his first goal with his teammates on February 2, 2022© Reuters

Senegal, on the other hand, did light work on Benin as they cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win when the teams faced off in Friday’s group opener.

In a match where Sessi D’Almeida received his marching orders, the Liverpool striker Sadio Mane produced a performance of the highest quality as he scored a hat-trick to give the hosts all three points.

Before that, the Teranga Lions played out a 1-1 draw with Egypt before facing the Pharaohs on penalties to secure their place at the next World Cup in March.

Senegal, who clinched their maiden AFCON title in February, are now unbeaten in 15 of their last 16 games in all competitions, winning 12 and drawing three in that span.

Aliu CisseThe men of , ranked 20th in the latest FIFA world rankings – the highest of any African nation – are unbeaten in each of the last seven AFCON qualifiers, winning five and drawing two in that span.

Rwanda Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers form:

Rwanda form (all competitions):

Senegal African Cup of Nations qualifiers form:

Form Senegal (all competitions):

Team News

Liverpool and Senegal's Sadio Mane celebrate with the Africa Cup of Nations Player of the Tournament award on February 6, 2022© Reuters

Nishimwe opened his account for Rwanda with his strike on Thursday and the Rayon Sports midfielder is expected to retain his place in the center of the park.

In attack, John Bosco Ruboneka could replace the 35-year-old striker Meddie Kagerewho struggled to make their mark against Mozambique last time out.

Meanwhile, following a dominant display in Friday’s group opener against Benin, Cissé could name a similar squad on Tuesday, meaning we could see a pair of centre-backs from Andou Diallo and Kalidou Koulibalywith the trio of Pope Sarr, Nameplays Mendy and Pape Gueye starting in midfield.

With his hat-trick against the Squirrels, Mane now has 32 goals in 90 appearances for Senegal and we expect the Liverpool striker to spearhead the attack once again.

The 30-year-old is expected to be joined on the attacking side of the pitch by Watford. Ismailia Sarr and Villarreal ahead Boulaye Dia for a third straight game.

Possible starting lineup from Rwanda:
Kwizera; Mutsinzi, Manzi, Nirisarike; Serumogo, Rafael, Bizimana, Nishimwe, Imanishimwe; Hakizimana, Kagerea

Possible starting line-up from Senegal:
E Mendy; Sabaly, Diallo, Koulibaly, Ciss; Sarr, N. Mendy, P. Gueye; Mane, Dia, Sarr

SM words green background

We say: Rwanda 0-2 Senegal

Senegal will be licking their lips as they take on an opposing team who have not won any of their last eight outings. The Teranga Lions have several world-class talents behind the squad and we anticipate they will see the struggling hosts comfortably.

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