Senegal named its final 23-man squad for the World Cup on Thursday, with Liverpool forward Sadio Mane leading a group that includes key defender Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli and midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate of West Ham.
Coach Aliou Cisse, captain of the 2002 team that reached the quarterfinals in the country’s only previous World Cup appearance, has gambled on the fitness of Monaco winger Keita Balde and Anderlecht defender Kara Mbodji.
Balde last played on April 7 while Mbodji missed most of this season with a knee problem but has recently returned to training.
The 20-year-old Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr also made the squad.
The midfield is likely to have an English league look with Kouyate, Idrissa Gueye of Everton, Cheikh Ndoye of Birmingham and Pape Alioune Ndiaye of Stoke selected.
Much of Senegal’s hopes rest with the 26-year-old Mane, who has been in sizzling form with 10 goals in 29 appearances in the Premier League.
Cisse’s men will have training sessions next week at a resort town outside Dakar before moving camp to Vittel, a city in northeast France.
Mane will join up late as Liverpool prepare for the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 26.
Have your say
More Sports Headlines
- Injured Ronaldo expects to return in one or two weeks
- NC special competition to start this weekend after launch
- Bashir Hayford confirmed as Somalia coach
- John Paintsil confirms take-over of Wa All Stars
- Richard Commey, Liberty Industries call on Rawlings
- Caster Semenya: United Nations criticises 'humiliating' IAAF rule
- Black Stars vs Harambee Stars: 15 photos you missed from the Afcon qualifier
- Child refugee Berahino realises Burundi dream
- Mourinho's next move: Is there a club out there for the Not-As-Special One?
- ANALYSIS: Is it time for Kwesi Appiah's Black Stars to ditch playing 4-4-2?
- Schulz grabs late winner as Germany stun Netherlands
- Hazard scores on 100th Belgium appearance
- AFCON 2019: Full list of teams that have qualified
- Amewu breaks ground for construction of Hohoe Sports Stadium
- 2019 AFCON: Benin qualify as Adebayor's Togo go out