Saturday Dec 03, 2022. 15:00
The Al Bayt Stadium will see England and Senegal do battle in the Round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup on Sunday night, as Aliou Cisse’s troops look to cause an upset against Gareth Southgate’s talented outfit.
England looked promising during the Group stage of the tournament, recording big wins against Iran and Wales. The Three Lions got their WC campaign off with a 6-2 victory against Iran, while putting three past Wales in what was their only other win in the competition.
Southgate’s side dropped points against the USA in their second group game, as the two nations shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw at the very same stadium in which England will face Senegal.
Speaking ahead of the tie Southgate spoke of Senegal’s organisation and that Senegal won’t be a pushover, given the talent at Cisse’s disposal.
“It is a team I have seen enough of, I saw them play Iran a couple of months ago and even without Sadio they have got good players, are well organised,” Southgate said.
“It is going to be tough game, it will be similar to the games we’ve had already in this group, the USA one for example and we are going to have to deal with it. We are going to have a different challenge but a lot of their players play in Europe so they are used to the style of play.
“Their style of play, from what I have seen in the games, is pretty controlled anyway, they have outstanding individuals that can make a difference.”
As for the Lions of Teranga, other than their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Netherlands in Group A, Cisse’s charges looked impressive in the early stages of the tournament.
Senegal started their World Cup bid with a 3-1 win over the host nation last month, followed by a 2-1 victory against Ecuador in their final group stage encounter.
England and Senegal will face each other for the first time at the Al Bayt Stadium, which makes for good viewing on Sunday evening. After their recent won over Ecuador, Kalidou Koulibaly mentioned that facing England will be ‘tough’ and many doubted his nation after Sadio Mane missed the tournament through injury.
“Two-thirds of the world probably thought we wouldn’t go through after Sadio’s injury,” Koulibaly said.
“But we are a family, a well-oiled team. There is a dream of going beyond the quarter-final. We keep believing, we want to relax the story of Senegalese football.
“The next game will be tough, every game is. But the team who plays against us will be a little bit afraid. They can see we have a lot of talent – that we can do good things.”