Preview: Senegal v Cameroon

West African footballing giants Senegal and Cameroon will do battle for a place in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals at the Franceville Stadium on Saturday night.

The match kicks off at 21h00 CAT.

Senegal, who have never won the continental showpiece, are one of the tournament's favourites and cruised through a very tough Group B, beating Tunisia and Zimbabwe and drawing with Algeria to top the standings.

Cameroon, four-time winners of AFCON, ended second in Group A after drawing with Burkina Faso and hosts Gabon and beating Guinea-Bissau.

The Teranga Lions (33rd on the FIFA rankings) have a squad full of big-name players from Europe, including Liverpool's Sadio Mane, Africa's most expensive player.

Apart from Mane, they boast global stars such as Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Keita Balde (Lazio, Italy) and Moussa Sow (Fenerbahce, Turkey).

The Indomitable Lions (ranked 62nd) on the other hand, historically one of the continent's most successful teams, have a young and relatively inexperienced side.

The west African giants have met 12 times before, Cameroon winning three times and Senegal five.

Despite seeing a quality squad firing on all cylinders, Senegal coach Aliou Cisse downplayed his side's chances – although he failed to take current form into account with his reasoning.

"Cameroon are the favourites. They have won the Cup of Nations four times while Senegal have never won it. So, if there has to be a favourite, it must be Cameroon," said the former international midfielder.

"The Indomitable Lions have great players and an experienced coach. I and my team are very honoured to meet them.

"How can we be favourites when you have the likes of Ghana, Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo still in contention?

"Ghana were finalists in the last tournament, Morocco have impressed and DR Congo exhibit tremendous potential.

"For me, reaching the quarterfinals was a huge relief as Senegal have not been to the knockout stage since 2006 in Egypt," Cisse insisted.

Cameroon coach Hugo Broos has had to make do without a handful of the country's biggest names, after they chose to stay with their European-based clubs rather than participate at AFCON.

Led by France-based striker Benjamin Moukandjo, the emerging group of Indomitable Lions have impressed nevertheless and will go into the clash on Saturday without the weight of expectation on their shoulders.

"We have young players hungry to play and keen to win," said Broos. "Now that we have reached the quarterfinals, anything can happen."

Unlike many of the other teams at the tournament, Cameroon and Senegal have both been able to steer clear of injuries.

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