2022 World Cup Preview: England vs Senegal

England face a stern test in the round of 16 as they play African champions Senegal on Sunday in the battle of the Lions. The Three Lions want to go beyond the last 16 of the World Cup for the second time in a row since 1990.

Gareth Southgate’s men were able to outclass Iran in their first game by a 6-2 win before holding USA to a goalless draw in a thrilling encounter. When it mattered most for the three lions to seal a place in the last 16, they delivered almost flawlessly as they thumped Wales who equally had the opportunity to progress given the one point gained from their tie with USA in their opening game. England through Marcus Rashford’s brace and Phil Foden’s finish ensured Gareth Bale’s side did not even come close to what they achieved in their previous appearance 64 years ago.

Unlike England, the Lions of Teranga had a bad tournament start after learning that Sadio Mane of Bayern Munich would not be able to play for Senegal just a few days before the tournament started. In contrast, Aliou Cisse’s team did well against group stage experts Netherlands in their first game, although they they lost 2-0 to the 2010 finalists following two errors by Edouard Mendy.

A victory over Qatar in the second game meant the Africans stood a chance of making it to the next stage of the World Cup over 20 years which they eventually achieved. The Senegalese ensured that Ecuador’s 16-year dream of reaching the knockouts of the World Cup was prolonged as Kalidou Koulibaly led by example with a beautiful strike to hand Senegal all three points after Moises Caicedo had cancelled Ismailla Sarr’s first half goal.

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Apart from Marcus Rashford, and Bukayo Saka who have three and two goals respectively, England have four other different scorers with Harry Kane yet to score. Similarly, Senegal seem to have found a way without Sadio Mane as the 2002 quarter-finalists already have five goals despite not scoring in their opening match.

FORM GUIDE (LAST FIVE MATCHES)

England are now undefeated in their last four out of five matches. Their only loss was a UEFA Nations League defeat to Italy. Senegal’s only loss in their five matches was against the Netherlands in their World Cup opener.

ENGLAND’S FORM

29 November 2022     Wales           0-3     England           World Cup 2022 Group B
25 November 2022     England        0-0     USA                World Cup 2022 Group B
21 November 2022     England        6-2     Iran                World Cup 2022 Group B

26 September 2022    England        3–3     Germany         UEFA Nations League A

23 September 2022    Italy             1–0     England           UEFA Nations League A

 

SENEGAL’S FORM

29 November 2022     Ecuador         1-2     Senegal          2022 World Cup Group A

25 November 2022     Qatar             1-3    Senegal           2022 World Cup Group A

21 November 2022     Senegal          0-2    Netherlands     2022 World Cup Group A

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27 September 2022    Iran               1–1    Senegal           Friendly

24 September 2022    Bolivia           0–2     Senegal           Friendly

 

TEAM NEWS

ENGLAND

Leicester City player, James Maddison was available during England’s match against Wales and should be in contention for their round of 16 tie. Kyle Walker replaced Kieran Trippier last time out and his performance could earn him a start against Senegal. Marcus Rashford’s terrific form could also see him relegate Raheem Sterling to the bench.

PREDICTED LINEUP

(4-3-3): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Mount, Bellingham; Rashford, Kane, Saka

SENEGAL

Idrissa Gana Gueye is unavailable due to suspension while the match may come too early for Nottingham Forest’s midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate who is currently nursing an ankle injury.

PREDICTED LINEUP

(4-3-3): E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; P. Gueye, N. Mendy, Ciss; Ndiaye, Dia, Sarr