(Al Jazeera) Africa’s World Cup playoffs will serve up a Mohamed Salah versus Sadio Mane sequel as the Liverpool teammates face off on opposite sides again with their countries, this time for a place at football’s biggest show.
Salah’s Egypt will face Mane’s Senegal in one of the continent’s five decisive World Cup playoffs, with the first leg in Cairo on Friday.
The draw for the playoffs was made before the two Liverpool stars met in last month’s African Cup of Nations final, which was won by Senegal in a shoot-out thanks to Mane’s winning penalty.
The second leg is at Senegal’s new 50,000-seat Abdoulaye Wade Stadium on Tuesday.
Egypt versus Senegal headlines the playoffs but there is also a big West African derby pitting Ghana against Nigeria.
The five winners of the two-legged ties will seal progress to Qatar 2022.
Egypt v Senegal
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recognised the significance of the game when he rested Mane for Sunday’s FA Cup quarterfinal against Nottingham Forest because Salah was already out with a minor injury.
“Because the game is too big in Africa,” Klopp said.