The winners of the AFCON 2021 will have a lot of expectations as they navigate their way through this World Cup in Qatar. They defeated Egypt on penalties in the AFCON 2021 tournament and morale is pretty high in the Senegal camp right now. They are also placed in a group where they have the opportunity to make it out of the group and make it into the Round of 16.
Senegal have never been a team that has been a force to reckon with, at least in the World Cups, as this will only be their 3rd appearance in football’s biggest competition. Their win at AFCON has given them quite a huge boost though and they will believe that not only can they make it out of the group alive, they can quite possibly cause an upset in the Round of 16 and make it to the Quarterfinals, much like their counterparts Ghana in 2010.
Under the stewardship of Aliou Cisse, who helped them clinch the title last year, they have been showing consistent displays and have been on the ascend and will look to take it up a notch at this year’s World Cup.
SENEGAL TEAM NEWS
Senegal has been a team of a couple of star-players, but if they want to run deeper into this tournament, they know that it will have to be a team effort. Led by Sadio Mane at the apex of their team, he will have Ismaila Sarr and Keita Balde to support him up top. They also have some quality in midfield with Idrissa Gueye but generally, this is a weak spot in their team, as they lack some more firepower here. With Koulibaly and Diallo in defense and Edouard Mendy in goal, the other two departments look sorted, in terms of experience.
Bouna Sarr has been ruled out of this year’s World Cup after going through a surgery on a persistent knee injury. He will be quite a miss for Senegal as he played every game of their triumph in the AFCON 2021 and also played every single minute in their World Cup Qualifying games.
Senegal will be playing this World Cup in Group-A with hosts Qatar, Netherlands, and Ecuador. If they play their cards right, they can definitely finish in the top-2 of this group and they have the tools necessary to cause an upset and top the table too.
Their first game of this World Cup will be against the Netherlands on the 21st of November, followed by a game against the hosts, Qatar on 25th, and ending with a battle against South American opponents, Ecuador on the 29th.
SENEGAL – PREDICTED XI (4-3-3)
Edouard Mendy; Saliou Ciss, Abdou Diallo, Kalidou Koulibaly, Bouna Sarr; Idrissa Gueye, Cheikhou Kouyate, Nampalys Mendy; Keita Balde, Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr