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Mendy and Koulibaly set to miss Senegal’s Afcon opener

Senegal have been dealt a massive blow as goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, defender Kalidou Koulibaly and striker Famara Diedhiou have tested positive for Covid-19, a day before the Lions of Teranga’s opening Group B Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) opener against Zimbabwe in Cameroon.

The 2019 Afcon finalists will take on the Warriors on Monday afternoon (15:00) at Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam.

Chelsea keeper Mendy, Napoli centre back Koulibaly and Alanyaspor hitman Diedhiou have all gone into isolation.

“It’s a difficult and complicated situation,” said Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse.

Due to several Covid-19 positive cases and injuries in the Senegal camp, Cisse will have approximately 17 players available for the encounter in Bafoussam.

“We are going to be competitive, and those there are going to play for those who are absent. We are still going into the game against Zimbabwe full of confidence,” added Cisse.

Koulibaly, the captain of Senegal, did reveal that he is asymptomatic with his club, Napoli, confirming that the 30-year-old has been vaccinated. He has not featured since 1 December due to injury.

Senegal will be appearing for the 16th time at the Afcon tournament, and they are one of the favourites to clinch the African showpiece in Cameroon.

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