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England vs Senegal: What are the key battles to look out for in the last-16 encounter

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.

Senegal will play England in their World Cup round of 16 fixture on Sunday; Credit: Twitter/@FootballSenegal
By Sreejith C R | Dec 4, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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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. Things will be difficult for the African champions against the Three Lions, but Aliou Cisse’s side have enough quality in their ranks to cause a World Cup upset. 

Read more: England vs Senegal: Possible Game Plan, formation and Lineups

Ismaila Sarr vs Kyle Walker

Ismaila Sarr has been one of the most consistent players for Senegal in this edition of the World Cup. The Watford-man has been a workhorse on the left flank, fluent while going forward, can take on defenders and at the same time helps his team out defensively. The 24-year-old scored the opening goal, from the penalty spot, for Senegal in their last match against La Tri. Meanwhile, Sunday’s game might offer the toughest test Sarr has faced in Qatar thus far as he will be up against Manchester City’s Kyle Walker. The 32-year-old right back is definitely going to give a hard time to Sarr. Walker is a strong defender, who has lots of pace to burn. The former Tottenham Hotspur-man is returning from an injury and played 57 minutes of football in the last outing against Wales and it will be interesting to see whether he has the matchfitness to last the full 90 minutes or may be more if the game goes to extra time.   

Kalidou Koulibaly vs Harry Kane   

The two captains Kalidou Koulibaly and Harry Kane might go head-to-head on Sunday. Senegal’s Koulibaly is heading into the tie full of confidence, having scored the winner in his team’s crucial game against Ecuador onTuesday. The Chelsea-man is a big presence in the defence and he will have to keep a close eye on fellow Premier League player Harry Kane on Sunday. Koulibaly is a world class centr-back who is strong in the air and can read the game pretty well. Kane, on the other hand, is a poacher in the box, who is also capable of dropping deep and turning an assist-provider for his team when required. Man-to-man marking may not be the best option against the English captain as he is capable of taking the maker out of the game and creating space for the fellow attackers. 

Marcus Rashford vs Youssouf Sabaly

The Senegal right-back will be tasked with containing Marcus Rashfoird, who is among the leading scorers with three goals. However the Real Betis-man proved against Ecuador that he can hold his own, having been able to keep Pervis Estupinan quiet for a large part of the game, while also heading away any danger from set pieces. The 29-year-old knows when to go forward or stay back and given England will likely have more of the ball, he will do more defending than attacking. His ability to contain Rashford would be key to England getting behind their defence.



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