Africa Sports Page
CAFFeaturedFIFA World Cup FinalsFootballSenegal Sports

World Cup Match Preview: Senegal Vrs Netherlands

After cruelly missing out on the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup by way of an inferior fair play record to Japan, Senegal will make a swift return to football’s biggest event aiming to go one better. This is the first time that Senegal have featured in consecutive World Cup finals and that comes on the back of a strong year for the highest-ranked CAF nation by FIFA (#18).

Senegal should enter this tournament in high spirits after lifting the Africa Cup of Nations trophy for the first time earlier this year, albeit they did have to qualify for this World Cup via the play-offs, both of which came at the expense of Egypt! Whilst Senegal have been tipped as a side that’s capable of a solid run in this tournament, they will face a selection headache as star-man Sadio Mané is set to miss the whole tournament due to an “injury in the right fibula” according to manager Aliou Cissé.

Having missed out on the 2018 edition altogether, Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands are making their long-awaited return to football’s biggest stage looking to go one better than their third and second-placed finishes in their last two participations. Still unbeaten in 2022 (W6, D2), the Oranje will be hoping for a strong start in this tournament to justify their favourites tag for topping Group A.

Never one to mince his words, Van Gaal branded Qatar’s hosting of this tournament as “ridiculous” but he is determined to see his team impress in this tournament, insisting that “we don’t have the best players on earth, but I believe in team building and tactics”. That Dutch team spirit appears to have worked in the past and the Netherlands have never been eliminated from a World Cup during the group stage, and have even reached at least the semi-finals in five of their last eight finals appearances.

Players to watch: Without their ‘talis-Mané’, Senegal may look to Ismaïla Sarr for goals. The Watford man has struck six times at club level this season and scored in the quarter-finals en route to their recent AFCON win. PSV and Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo could be one of the breakout stars at this tournament. He already has an impressive 13 club goals this season and has contributed to goals in three of his five international appearances during 2022 (G2, A1).

Hot stat: The Netherlands have lost just two of their 19 all-time games against CAF nations (W12, D5).

Related posts

Raoul Savoy Bangui ignores Senegal and tips Morocco to excel at Qatar World Cup


U-20 AFCON: Senegal boss Daf Malick eyes early quarter-final stage

Tawiah Martin

FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification: Cameroon’s last lap

Tawiah Martin

Leave a Comment