Senegal: Senegal Face England in Dicey Round of 16 Duel
It will be a battle of the Lions on Sunday, December 4, when the Teranga Lions of Senegal lock horns with the Three Lions of England in the round of 16 game of the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The game which will be played at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor is expected to live up to expectations with a display of quality football.
On paper, Senegal starts as underdogs and will be aiming to upset one of the tournament’s favorites.
The African champions lost their opening 2-0 to the Netherlands before defeating host nation Qatar 3-1. They beat South American outfit Ecuador 2-1 in the last Group A match to make it to the next round.
England also humiliated Iran 6-2, drew goalless with the United States before defeating Wales 2-0 to top Group B with seven points.
Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse was sick as at the time of the pre-match press conference and he could miss the game if he doesn’t get well. His deputies Regis Bogaert and Hadji Diouf might take over.
“He has been sick for a couple of days now. He has a bit of a temperature, that is why we have to be careful with his situation,” said assistant coach Bogaert, who replaced Cisse at the press conference on Saturday.
“He let us take charge of Friday training yesterday, obviously with his instructions to the players,” he added.
Despite Cisse likely to miss the game, Boagaert is confident that the Teranga Lions will roar against Gareth Southgate’s men on Sunday.
“We are feeling calm and confident. We know we can beat England and that is what we are aiming for. I think we will get more excited as the match gets closer but you have to remain calm and focused on the objective – and our objective is obviously to get to the next round,” he said.
Sign up for free AllAfrica Newsletters
Get the latest in African news delivered straight to your inbox
“Four years ago we went through that experience but the team has grown, we lost and won an (Africa Cup of Nations) final and the team is developing and becoming more mature,” said Bogaert.
“That maturity is very important at international level, African teams need to be ambitious and they are good enough to go head-to-head, eye-to-eye with anybody and we are capable of beating anyone. I hope that the English are going to underestimate us and we will surprise them, that is what we are looking for, “he added
African countries have won just one in 9 games against European opposition at the World Cup in the round of 16. That feat was achieved by Senegal when they beat Sweden 2-1 in the round of 16 of the 2002 World Cup and they will be hoping to repeat it.
Injuries and suspensions:
England does not have any injury situations or suspensions ahead of the game whereas Senegal will miss midfield talisman Idrissa Gana Gueye who is suspended for yellow cards accumulation.