2019 AFC Asian Cup winners and 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar will be back in action against the 2021 AFCON champions Senegal in a do-or-die Group A encounter at the Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar. Both sides will be looking to bounce back from their respective 2-0 defeats in the opener and eye a win in this crucial tie in which the loser bids adieu to the Round of 16.
After becoming the first hosts to lose their opening World Cup game, Qatar will be back in action when they take on Senegal in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Group A encounter at the Al Thumama Stadium in Qatar on Friday, November 25. An Enner Valencia brace sank the hosts on opening day, while Senegal fell prey to late goals against the Netherlands in the first round of fixtures. As the two sides go head-to-head, both sides will yearn to get this campaign off the mark.
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After failing to get a single shot on target in the entire match against CONMEBOL's weakest side, Felix Sanchez and his men will definitely have gone back to the drawing board eagerly looking for a solution to change things around for the next game. One big positive for Qatar is that none of their players suffered an injury during the match. Hence, Sanchez has a fully fit squad at his disposal for the game against Senegal.
Nerves probably got the better of Qatar, who were in formidable form in the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup. Akram Afif and Abdulaziz Hatem were named in the team of the tournament in which Qatar finished third. Before trying to tweak the formation and adjust his tactics, the players will need a talking-to from Sanchez. It is quite odd how a team that has come into this tournament following a series of good results fails to get a single shot at goal.
Bouncing back against Senegal would give the hosts the momentum they need when they face the Netherlands in the final group encounter. Three points could also place the Maroons in contention for Round of 16 qualification if results in the other games turn out to be favourable for the hosts.
This is only the third World Cup for the Senegalese. Like the hosts, the Lions of Teranga did not get off to the start they would have liked against the Netherlands. However, they lost to a side that is in contention to go all the way this time around. Senegal will walk out on the pitch for the game against Qatar knowing that a defeat ends their World Cup campaign and eliminates them in the group stage itself.
The Lions of Teranga also faced elimination at this stage in the last edition. However, if Senegal want to repeat a feat, they will want to opt for the achievement at the 2002 FIFA World when they made it to the quarterfinals. Between the sticks, Edouard Mendy will have to get over his performance in the last game and be steady to face Qatar. A few injury concerns have risen from the Senegalese camp in the form of left-back Abdou Diallo and midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate.
Senegal attempted a total of 15 shots against the Netherlands. Only four out of those were kept on target. The 2021 AFCON champions will need to be clinical in and around the penalty area to keep their chances of qualification alive.
Team News: Injuries are not an issue for Qatar following the opener against Ecuador, so Sanchez has a full squad at his disposal. To get a better result against Senegal, the coach might make minor tweaks in his starting eleven. For Senegal, the only doubtful players are Abdou Diallo and Cheikho Kouyate. Both play a vital role in the team, and Aliou Cisse will hope they are fit to start.
Form Guide: (Last five matches, most recent first)
Qatar: L - W - W - W - W
Senegal: L - D - W - W - W
Games Played: 0
Qatar Wins: 0
Senegal Wins: 0
Betting Odds: (Bet365)
Qatar Possible Starting 11 (3-5-2): Sheeb; Al-Rawi, Khoukhi, Fadlalla; Miguel, Haidos, Boudiaf, Hatem, Elamin; Afif, Ali.
Senegal Possible Starting 11 (4-3-3): E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Cisse, Diallo; Kouyate, Gueye, N. Mendy; Diatta, Dia, Sarr.
Where to watch and match timing: The match will kick off at 6:30 PM IST on Friday, November 25 and will be beamed live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. Fans can also stream the action online on JioCinema’s official website.