The Three Lions qualified for the knockouts as Group B winners, having collected seven points from three outings, while Senegal managed to finish runner-ups in Group A, with six points to their name.
England and Senegal will face each other aiming to secure a place in the quarter-finals of Qatar World Cup. The Three Lions qualified for the knockouts as Group B winners, having collected seven points from three outings, while Senegal managed to finish runner-ups in Group A, with six points to their name. England are heading into the match on the back of a dominant 3-0 victory over Wales in their final group match on Tuesday, while the Lions of Teranaga got the better of Ecuador 2-1 on the same day.
The knockouts begin for the #ThreeLions!
— England (@England) December 4, 2022
England boss Gareth Southgate is likely to opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Harry Kane leading the line. The Tottenham Hotspur player is likely to be supported by Rashford, Foden and Bukayo Saka. Kane often drops deep, drawing defenders towards him, creating space for the likes of Foden, Rashford and Saka to exploit, as seen in their previous match against the Dragons. The 29-year-old attacker already has three assists to his name. Jude Bellingham, who became the second youngest English player to reach 20 international caps last time out, should join Declan Rice in the engine room. Rica is going to sit in front of the back-four of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, while Bellingham will form the bridge between the attack and the defence.
As for Senegal, who are playing in the knockouts of the World cup for the first time since 2022, were touted to be one of the dark horses, prior to the start of the tournament. The Lions of Teranga have enough quality in their ranks to cause an upset. Captain Kalidou Koulibaly, who scored the winner against Ecuador in their last outing, will marshall the back-four of Abdou Diallo, Youssouf Sabaly and Ismail Jakobs. Head coach Aliou Cisse might revert to a 4-3-3 formation, with Nampalys Mendy, Pathe Ciss and Pape Gueye forming the midfield-trio. Ismaila Sarr, who has been Senegal’s most consistent player in the tournament thus far, will occupy the left flank, with Iliman Ndiaye at the opposite flank. Boulaye Dia should spearhead the attack. The African champions have got decent space down the flanks to test the English full backs and it would be interesting to see how Walker and Shaw will deal with it.
England midfielders Kalvin Phillips and James Maddison lack match-fitness, while the rest of the squad is fit and ready to go. Senegal, on the other hand, have some injury and suspension issues. Midfielder Idrissa Gueye is unlikely to be available for Sunday’s game because of suspension, while Cheikhou Kouyate is sidelined with an ankle injury.
England probable starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Bellingham,Saka, Rashford, Foden, Kane
Senegal probable starting lineup (4-3-3): E. Mendy, Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs, P. Gueye, N. Mendy, Ciss, Ndiaye, Dia, Sarr