Sunday, January 29, 2023

Prediction: England vs Senegal

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, World Cup 2 Dec 2022

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Verdict: England to score over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

Getting their World Cup knockout stage adventure underway on Sunday night, England will meet Senegal at the Al Bayt Stadium.

England

Starting with England, while the Three Lions might have come under some scrutiny for their sluggish 0-0 stalemate against the USA last week, Gareth Southgate’s men came roaring back in some style. Laying down a marker earlier in the week as they picked up a 3-0 romp against British rivals Wales thanks to a second-half flurry, the European giants have enjoyed a largely impressive start to this year’s tournament. Opening their World Cup adventure with an action-packed 6-2 victory against Iran on November 21st, England will be hoping to keep up their recent momentum on Sunday night. Despite enduring a Nations League nightmare this year as they lost their League A status, Southgate’s men are now enjoying a four-match unbeaten run. Refinding a clinical edge as they breezed their way past Wales on Tuesday, the Three Lions are rightfully tipped as a standout pick here.

Team News

Bagging a brace against Wales earlier in the week and already notching three World Cup strikes, Marcus Rashford should keep his place on Sunday night. Likewise, also getting himself on the scoresheet in midweek, Manchester City’s Phil Foden should join Rashford and Harry Kane in attack.

Despite only returning from a long-term hamstring injury on Tuesday, Kyle Walker should once again start at right-back ahead of Kieran Trippier.

Senegal

As for Senegal, although the African giants might have been frustrated to have opened their World Cup adventure with a late 2-0 loss against Holland on November 21st, Aliou Cisse’s men have bounced back in an eye-catching fashion. Along with cruising their way to a 3-1 victory against Qatar last week, the Lions of Teranga put in another impressive performance earlier in the week. Eventually edging their way past Ecuador thanks to a 2-1 win, there is no doubt that the former AFCON champions will be desperate to spring a major upset here. However, while the mood in Senegal’s camp should be at a high heading into their knockout stage showdown on Sunday night, Cisse will have somewhat of a headache over his side’s issues at the back. Along with failing to record a clean sheet in any of their three Group A appearances, the Whites have come away unscathed in just one of their previous six attempts.

Team News

In what is a real blow for Senegal on Sunday night, the Lions of Teranga will be without Idrissa Gueye as the 33-year-old serves a suspension. The Everton midfielder will likely be replaced by Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy.

Bagging what turned out to be the winner against Ecuador earlier in the week, Kalidou Koulibaly will once again be partnered by RB Leipzig’s Abdou Diallo.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Including their 3-0 romp against Wales earlier in the week, England have bagged nine World Cup strikes from their three Group B appearances.
    • Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has scored three World Cup goals in as many appearances this winter.
    • Senegal have managed to record just a single clean sheet from any of their previous six matchups across all formats.
    • The Three Lions are unbeaten against African teams in each of their last 21 matches.
    • Senegal have seen 11 of their last 13 matches across all competitions finish with over 1.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    Making an immediate return to winning ways with a second-half romp earlier in the week, England will be looking to produce a similar display here. Eventually coming past British rivals Wales thanks to a 3-0 victory, the Three Lions are rightfully tipped as a standout pick on Sunday night. Unbeaten in each of their previous 21 straight meetings against African opposition, Southgate’s superstars will be looking to exploit a leaky Senegal defence. With the former AFCON champions yet to record a single World Cup clean sheet this winter, they will face a stern test at the Al Bayt Stadium. With England notching nine strikes from their three Group B appearances, we’re backing the European heavyweights to lay down another marker.

    Verdict: England to score over 1.5 goals

    Best Odds: 19/20

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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