Buoyed by a thrilling 3-0 win over Wales, England will look to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they take on Senegal in the World Cup last 16. The Three Lions were scoring goals for fun in the group stages, and, as a result, the bookies see them as hot favorites to beat the African side at Al Bayt Stadium. Phil Foden should keep his place in the starting XI after producing a fine display against the Dragons, while fit-again defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips is pushing for a start.
James Maddison is not yet fully fit, while Ben White should recover in time to face the Lions of Teranga. Meanwhile, Aliou Cisse’s men continue life without Liverpool superstar Sadio Mane, who has been ruled out of the World Cup with a knee injury. Senegal set up a meeting with England by beating Ecuador 2-1, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Gareth Southgate’s troops. Cheikhou Kouyate should miss out with injury, while fellow midfielder Gana Gueye is banned from the match. England faces African champions Senegal in the World Cup round of 16 on Sunday evening.
The European Championship runners-up finished top of their group, sandwiching a 0-0 draw against the United States with a pair of victories against Iran and Wales.
Senegal recovered from the setback of losing their star forward Sadio Mane ahead of the tournament and their opening match of the competition against the Netherlands to defeat Qatar and Ecuador.
England Team News
Aside from Arsenal center-back Ben White, who left the squad due to “personal reasons” earlier this week, Gareth Southgate should have a full bevy of options at his disposal this Sunday. After the impressive form of the forwards that were drafted in against Wales, Southgate has some tricky choices to make.
England predicted lineup vs Senegal
England Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Bellingham; Rashford, Mount, Sterling; Kane.
Bench: Pope, Ramsdale, Coady, Dier, Alexander-Arnold, Walker, Phillips, Gallagher, Saka, Maddison, Henderson, Grealish, Foden, Wilson.
Senegal Team News
Aliou Cisse has already juggled the absence of Mane but was dealt another blow during his nation’s spirited victory against Ecuador. Everton’s Idrissa Gana Gueye picked up a second booking of the tournament, ruling him out of the first knockout round.
Nottingham Forest’s Cheikhou Kouyate is thought to be the only injury absentee after he was stretchered off against the Netherlands.
Senegal predicted lineup vs England
Senegal Starting 11 (4-3-3): E Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; N Mendy, Ciss, P Gueye; Ndiaye, Dia, I Sarr.
Bench: S Dieng, Gomis, Cisse, F Mendy, Ballo-Toure, Loum, Name, N’Diaye, P Sarr, Diedhiou, Jackson, B Dieng, Diatta.
England vs Senegal Score Prediction
The last time England faced African opposition in the knockout round of the men’s World Cup, Sir Bobby Robson’s scout Howard Wilkinson supposedly brushed off the encounter as “a bye”. The confidence was grossly misplaced then and would be again three decades later.
Senegal’s fleet-footed frontline may be flanked by a pair of Championship wingers, but the searing pace and directness of Ismaila Sarr and Elliman Ndiaye could unsettle England’s rather pedestrian backline.
England looked at their best this tournament when snapping into the counter-press, generating chances in transition. Up against a Senegal side stripped of two first-choice midfielders, the Three Lions could dominate this area.
In what may be a tight contest between two teams experienced in tournament football, England may have the edge, but their place in the quarter-finals is anything but guaranteed.
Prediction: England 1-0 Senegal