The hosts were beaten 2-0 by Ecuador in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup on Sunday, while Senegal lost to Netherlands, with a similar scoreline, a day later.
World Cup hosts Qatar will take on Senegal in their second Group A match of the tournament on Friday evening. Both nations had suffered similar defeats in their opening match, with the Maroons suffering a 2-0 defeat to Ecuador on Sunday, while Senegal lost to Netherlands with an identical scoreline. Qatar were outclassed by La Tri and head coach Feliz Sanzhes rightly admitted that his players were “nervous”. The African champions, on the other hand, were unlucky to not get at least a point against the Dutch as they played some fluent attacking football and looked the better side for a major part of the game.
— Football Senegal (@FootballSenegal) November 25, 2022
Asian champions Qatar certainly have more quality than what we saw at the Lusail stadium last weekend. Sanchez’s side desperately needs to secure all three points against the Lions of Teranga to keep their chances of progressing to the knockout stages alive. Therefore, The Spanish tactician could opt for attacking tactics with a 3-4-3 formation, with the likes of Afif, Ali and Al-Haydos deployed up front. Pedro Miguel and Homam Ahmed will be the wing-backs, who are likely to get into the penalty box whenever possible. Al-Haydos might occupy the position behind the strikers. Al-Hatem, who has 171 international caps to his name, could partner Boudiaf in the engine room.
Senegal, on the other hand, play an attacking brand of football with lots of pace on the flanks. Wingers Ismail Sarr and Krepin Diatta were impressive against the Dutch and should keep their place in the playing eleven. Meanwhile, Boulaye Dia might spearhead the attack. The 26-year-old is likely to get many more goal-scoring chances inside than against Netherlands and the Salernitana striker’s ability to get in behind the defenders would be a key factor in deciding the scoreline of the match. In the previous game, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy’s mistakes cost Senegal the match and there are high chances that the Chelsea-man might be dropped to the bench. The back-four ,marshalled by Kalidou Koulibaly, looked solid for most part of the game against Holland and are unlikely to be changed.
Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb had a poor game against Ecuador and it won’t be surprising to see if the 32-year-old is replaced with either one of the two backup keepers. As for Senegal, the big news is that Nottingham Forest midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, who was stretchered off against Holland will miss Friday’s fixture. The 32-year-old is likely to be replaced with Ndiaye.
Qatar probable starting lineup (3-4-3): Barsham, Pedro, Miguel, Khoukhi, Salman, A Hassan, Ahmed, Al Haydos, Boudiaf, Hatem, Ali Afif
Senegal probable starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Dieng, Sabaly, Koulibaly, Cisse, Diallo, I Gueye, N Mendy, Ndiaye, I Sarr, Dia, Diatta