Alloa defender Fernandy Mendy reveals plan to shackle Liverpool's Mo Salah at African Cup of Nations

Alloa Athletic defender Fernandy Mendy is already making plans for when he faces one of his toughest ever opponents later this month – Mohamed Salah.

Fernandy Mendy in swapping cinch League One and Clackmannanshire, for Cameroon after his call-up for Guina-Bissau. (Picture: Michael Gillen)
Fernandy Mendy in swapping cinch League One and Clackmannanshire, for Cameroon after his call-up for Guina-Bissau. (Picture: Michael Gillen)

The 27-year-old has been called away from the cinch League One campaign as part of the African Cup of Nations squad for Guinea-Bissau, who share a group with Nigeria, Sudan and Egypt.

That places the former Raith Rovers and Kelty Hearts player on a collision course with the Liverpool ace, and they could potentially come face-to-face next Saturday.

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Mendy, while confident ahead of the meeting, has conceded he will look for support from his team-mates in shackling the forward, who has hit 23 goals already this season in 26 games for Jurgen Klopp’s English Premier League side.

Mendy previously played in Fife for Raith Rovers and Kelty Hearts. He could face Mo Salah later this month in AFCON. (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)

"I’m confident. He is one of the best players in the world, so he has the quality and I have mine – maybe he’s much better than me so I’ll just do my best and try to stop him. I have team-mates who are going to help me too,” he laughed.

The Senegal-born defender qualifies for selection through his family history and was first called up in March last year but has yet to earn a cap. So he was surprised at the international recall last month, added as late injury cover after playing 17 games for Barry Ferguson’s side at the Indodrill Stadium this season.

“When I saw the call, I thought it was strange. I took the phone and they said I would come with the squad – I was very happy and surprised. It was two days before Christmas and it was an early Christmas gift. I was very happy,” he recalled on Sky Sports News.

Guinea-Bissau kick off their campaign on Tuesday against Sudan, with matches against some of the stronger African nations, Egypt and Nigeria, to follow on January 15 and 19, either side of Mendy’s 28th birthday.

“Everyone knows we have a very tough group and we have Sudan in the first game. If we can win that game, then it will give everyone the confidence to try to do something against the biggest teams.

“Nothing is impossible in the tournament, anything can happen in football and we all believe we can do something good.”

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