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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 February, 2004, 11:03 GMT
Lemerre faces Senegal again
Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre
Roger Lemerre faces his old nemesis Senegal again
Two years after Senegal beat his France side at the 2002 World Cup, Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre comes face-to-face with the Teranga Lions again.

The 2004 Cup of Nations hosts play Group B runners-up Senegal in the Rades stadium in Tunis on Saturday.

The tie will bring back memories of the last World Cup for Lemerre, as the Frenchman was in charge of the 1998 World Cup winners for their disastrous campaign in Japan and South Korea.

The reigning champions opened the defence of their crown with a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of little-fancied Senegal, with the European side then failing to reach the second round of the tournament.

Yet Lemerre seems unconcerned that his Tunisia side take on his old nemesis in Saturday's quarter-final clash.

"I have to say, Mali or Senegal, it would be the same," the 64-year-old explained.

While Lemerre was forced to resign following France's first-round exit in the 2002 World Cup, Senegal went on to reach the quarter-finals.

Marcel Desailly (8), Pape Boube Diop (19), Emmanuel Petit (17) and Fabien Barthez (right)
Pape Bouba Diop (19) scores Senegal's winner against Lemerre's France in the 2002 World Cup

Now, Lemerre will once more have to prepare a squad to take on the likes of El Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao, Pape Bouba Diop and Henri Camara.

Yet things are different this time around, as the Carthage Eagles have had a solid first round while Senegal have had trouble finding their groove.

El Hadfji Diouf, Senegal's 2002 World Cup hero, has yet to score in this year's Nations Cup or indeed for his English Premiership club Liverpool this season.

Senegal's midfield has looked sluggish and coach Guy Stephan seems to lack the inspirational touch of former coach Bruno Metsu.

Yet the clash will pit the wits of Stephan, who was assistant coach to Lemerre during both France's Euro 2000 success and 2002 World Cup failure, against his former boss.

With home advantage, Lemerre's team may be favourites to beat the 2002 Nations Cup runners-up - just as France were two years ago.

Tunisia win opening duel
24 Jan 04  |  African Cup of Nations
Tunisia through to last eight
28 Jan 04  |  African Cup of Nations
Camara saves Guinea
01 Feb 04  |  African Cup of Nations

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