Senegal - World Cup Preview




History in the World Cup

Senegal have qualified for the World Cup only twice in their entire history. Their first appearance in this prestigious competition came in 2002 where they embarked on a fairytale run, reaching the quarterfinals on their first attempt. They beat world class teams such as France and Sweden during that run, and also drew against Uruguay and Denmark. Their unexpected run came to an end when they lost narrowly to Turkey via the golden goal rule. This time around, Senegal are equipped with the likes of Mané and Koulibaly and they will be hoping to emulate their 2002 performance.


Current Form

Excluding the African Nations Championship, as only local league players are allowed, Senegal has played 15 games, winning 5, drawing 8 and losing 2. As you can tell, they don’t lose often but they don’t win often as well. Scoring goals could be a cause of concern for the The Lions of Teranga as they were involved in six 0-0 draws and scored only 17 goals in the 15 games against weaker opposition. Their attack will be tested to the limits in the World Cup, and they will need some Mané magic if they want to make it to the knockout rounds.


Squad

Manager : Aliou Cissé

Goalkeepers: Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya AC), Abdoulaye Diallo (Rennes), Alfred Gomis (Torino) Defenders: Kara Mbodji (Anderlecht), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Moussa Wague (Eupen), Saliou Ciss (Angers), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux), Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor), Armand Traore (Nottingham Forest), Salif Sane (Hannover 96)

Midfielders: Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Stoke), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham), Cheikh N'Doye (Birmingham)

Forwards: Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Diao Balde Keita (Monaco), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes), Diafra Sakho (Rennes), Moussa Konate (Amiens), Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke), Mbaye Niang (AC Milan)


Danger Man


Sadio Mané is the key to Senegal’s success in the tournament. He is a part of Liverpool’s prolific goal-scoring trio along with Firmino and Salah and his numbers back it up. He has scored 33 goals for Liverpool in his career as well as netting 14 times for his country. He prefers to pass short and likes to cut in a lot and that’s why he is compared to Robben. While he isn’t the best at hold up play, his dribbling and passing makes up for it and Senegal will be dependent on Mané to take them to the knockouts.


Rankings

FIFA- Current 27

Highest 23


ELO- Current 27

Highest 15


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