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Allagbe and Mounie headline Benin Republic squad for Nigeria and Sierra Leone fixtures

The Dijon and Brest stars are among the Squirrels invited to face the Super Eagles and Leone Stars in this month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

Benin Republic have announced a 23-man squad to face Nigeria and Sierra Leone in this month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualification games with Dijon goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe and Brest forward Steve Mounie making the cut.

The Squirrels currently occupy the second spot in Group L having accrued seven points from four matches played so far.

A positive result in both games will see the West African country reach the biennial African football showpiece for the fifth time.

Interestingly, all the players invited by coach Michel Dussuyer are foreign-based professionals, while captain Stephan Sessegnon, Olivier Gerdon and Rudy Gestede were omitted from the team.

Sessegnon remains without a club since the end of his spell at Turkish Super Lig outfit Genclerbirligi.

However, the 36-year-old will be in the Squirrels’ camp as a non-playing skipper to boost the morale of his teammates.

Benin welcome Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles to Porto-Novo’s Stade Charles de Gaulle on Saturday before heading to the National Stadium Freetown for their last group fixture against Sierra Leone who must win their last two games to stand a chance of reaching Cameroon 2022.

The Squirrels’ last outing at Afcon was during the 2019 edition where they crashed out of the quarter-final after a 1-0 defeat to Senegal.

Idrissa Gueye’s 70th-minute effort settled the encounter staged inside Cairo’s 30 June Stadium.

The 33rd edition of the biennial tournament was due to begin in Cameroon on January 9, 2021, but was pushed back to January 2022 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across the continent.

Algeria are the reigning African champions, having defeated Senegal 1-0 in the 2019 final in Cairo.

FULL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Saturnin Allagbe (Dijon/France), Fabien Farnolle (Sidama Cofee/ Ethiopia), Marcel Dandjinou (JDR Stars/South Africa)

Defenders: Youssouf Assogba (Amiens/France), Seidou Baraze (SC Shiltigheim/France), Khaled Adenon (USAvranches/France), Moise Adilehou (Breda/Netherlands), Cedric Hountondji (Clermont/France), Yohan Roche (Rodez/France), David Kiki (PFC Montana/Bulgaria), Emmanuel Imorou (Evian TGG/France)

Midfielders: Sessi d’Almeida (Valenciennes/France), Jordan Adeoti (Annecy FC/France), Anaane Tidjani (Menemenspor/Turkey), Rodrigue Kossi (Club Africain/Tunisia), Matteo Ahlinvi (NImes/France), Jerome Agossa (Djoliba AC /Mali)

Forwards: Michael Pote (Bandirmaspor/Turkey), Cebio Soukou (Bielefeld/Germany), Jodel Dossou (Clermont/France), Marcellin Koukpo ( CR Belouizdad/Algeria), Steve Mounie (Brest/France), Jacques Bessan (Olympique Beja/Tunisia)

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