The games are upon us, Qatar and Ecuador locked horns at the Al Bayt Stadium in Doha, the visitors 2-0 victors to open the floodgate of games that will count to 64.
On Monday November 21, England will face Iran by 2pm while Senegal are up against Netherlands by 5pm. The final game of the day will see Wales lock horns with USA by 8pm (All Nigerian time).
SportsRation presents a preview of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Group A game between Netherlands and Senegal who head into the tournament without their talismanic forward Sadio Mane.
SENEGAL VS NETHERLANDS
– The first encounter between Senegal and Netherlands in all competitions.
– Senegal and Netherlands will be participating at a World Cup together for the first time because the Dutch failed to qualify for two World Cup editions Senegal have participated in (2002, 2018)
– Louis Van Gaal’s men will be boosted by Sadio Mane’s abscence for the African Champions plus a near perfect record against African teams at the World Cup.
– Netherlands have a W3-D1-L0 record against African opposition at the World Cup. They have also won their last five matches against African opposition in all competitions.
– On their part, Senegal have a W3-D3-L2 record in World Cup matches with all three victories against European opposition.
Senegal World Cup stats
– The Terenga Lions have won the opening match in both of their two World Cup appearances. A nerve-wracking 1-0 win against France in 2002 and a 2-1 defeat of Poland in 2018.
– Senegal share the best finish by an African nation at the FIFA World Cup (quarter-finals in 2002) with Cameroon in 1990, and Ghana in 2010.
– Senegal have scored 11 World Cup goals, seven of this came in the first half while conceding most of their goal in the second half or extra time.
– This will be Netherlands’ 11th appearance at the FIFA World Cup. The Oranje failed to qualify for the 2018 edition in Russia.
– Netherlands finished third in at the 2014 FIFA World Cup during Louis van Gaal’s second spell as coach.
– Sadly for the Dutch, they are the only team to have played in three World Cup final matches without success.
In 1974 Netherlands suffered 2-1 loss to hosts West Germany.
At the next edition in 1978 , the Dutch fell 3-1 after extra time to hosts Argentina.
In South Africa 2010, Andreas Iniesta scored deep into extra time to secure a 1-0 win for Spain against a star studded Dutch team.
– The Dutch have lost only one of their last 14 World Cup matches (games decided by a penalty shootout are classed as a draw).
Senegal form: WWLWWD
Netherlands form: WWDWWW
Senegal’s Predicted Starting XI
E. Mendy; Sabaly, Cisse, Koulibaly, Ballo-Toure; Kouyate, N. Mendy, I. Gueye; I. Sarr, Dia, Diatta
Netherlands predicted starting lineup:
Pasveer; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Frimpong, F. De Jong, Koopmeiners, Blind; Klaassen; Gakpo, Bergwijn.