Senegal aiming to channel Liverpool to finally win Africa Cup of Nations title

How Sadio Mane led Senegal to the AFCON final (0:51)

Ed Dove reacts to Senegal's 3-1 win over Burkina Faso and analyses Sadio Mane's performance. (0:51)

Senegal are planning to channel Liverpool on and off the pitch as they look to get the best out of Sadio Mane and win the country's first ever Africa Cup of Nations title when they face Egypt at the Stade d'Olembe, Yaounde on Sunday.

Defeated finalists in 2002 and 2019, Senegal are the most high-profile African footballing nation never to win the continent's finest prize, but with Mane influential -- three goals and two assists in the tournament -- they are favourites to defeat Mohamed Salah's Pharaohs to clinch their first AFCON title.

As well as the Merseyside subplot between the two Anfield teammates and Africa's most prominent players, Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse has revealed how he's taking inspiration from Liverpool as he looks to give Mane the platform he needs to bring home the trophy.

"Many people claim we have a dependence on him, but us as head coaches, we build our team around our best players," Cisse told ESPN. "We have built a team around him in the same way that he does at Liverpool.

"To do this, we have to play with intensity, we need that same intensity to support him to allow him to express himself [as he does with Liverpool]. He's strong mentally, he leads the way for our team, and it's very good for me, as a coach of this team, to have this player in the dressing room."

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Mane, who has eight goals in 20 Premier League appearances so far this season, is rivalling Cameroon's Vincent Aboubakar for the Player of the Tournament award at the AFCON, having proved influential as Senegal have reached their second successive final.

The forward set the tone for the campaign with a 97th-minute penalty against Zimbabwe in Senegal's first match, then opened the scoring in the round of 16 against Cape Verde -- despite suffering a head injury -- before having a hand in three goals across two 3-1 victories against Equatorial Guinea in the quarterfinal and Burkina Faso in the semi.

Having tasted defeat by Algeria in the 2019 final, Mane has now set his sights on adding the Nations Cup to his Premier League and Champions League winners' medals.

"Sadio is a competitor," Cisse continued. "He's been at such a high level for 10 years or more, and he carries the national team in his heart. He's a technical and a social leader in the dressing room, and gives tempo to our team."

As well as looking to tap into Liverpool's intensity and rhythm on the field, the Teranga Lions' head coach is also leaning on the club's iconic motto and anthem: "You'll Never Walk Alone" as he looks to rally his compatriots back home behind their national side.

"Everyone's ready, not just me, I don't want all of the focus to be on the head coach," he concluded. "There are the players, the federation are here [in Cameroon], there are Senegalese journalists who want it too, and there's a whole unity of a country who want us to win.

"As Liverpool's song goes: 'You'll Never Walk Alone.' The world is behind us, and this is good pressure for us."

Senegal, who saw off Burkina Faso in their semifinal on Wednesday, will benefit from an extra day's rest before the final, whereas Egypt -- who defeated Cameroon on penalties on Thursday -- went the full 120 minutes in each of their three knockout games.