England manager Gareth Southgate concedes the Three Lions will not find it easy against Senegal in the second round on Sunday.
Senegal defeated Ecuador 2-1 to finish second in the World Cup’s Group A with six points, just one behind the Netherlands who topped the pool.
The Lions of Teranga will now play England in the Round of 16. The Three Lions won Group B after accumulating a total of seven points with the United States finishing second with five and will now play the Dutch side in the next phase.
England have never lost a World Cup match against an African team, and despite conceding his side come into the match as favourites, coach Southgate is wary of Senegal’s threat.
“I saw Senegal play against Iran [in a friendly] in Vienna. I observed them well. From now on we will study their matches,” Southgate said as quoted by Wiw Sports.
“We know some players who play in major leagues and in England. We know we will be favourites, we have to accept it, but we are playing a very dangerous team.”
: It is just the second time the Lions of Teranga have made it past the group stages in their three World Cup appearances.
The first instance was in 2002 when they made their debut. They went on to reach the quarter-finals but were eliminated by Turkey.
In 2018, they did not manage to get past the first round and in Qatar, Aliou Cisse’s side lost 2-0 to the Netherlands before securing wins against Qatar, 3-1, and Ecuador respectively to make it to the next hurdle.