England vs Senegal World Cup 2022: Date & Time, Match Preview, Prediction, Team News
Vying for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals, England and last-16 opponents Senegal go head-to-head at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.
After Gareth Southgate's side topped Group B by beating Wales, a first-ever meeting between the nations sees the Three Lions tackle the Lions of Teranga, who made it through to the knockout rounds thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain.
When is England vs Senegal?
|Photo: Getty Images|
England will face Africa Cup of Nations winners Senegal in the Round of 16 at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on Sunday, December 4, with kickoff at 22:00 local time in Qatar.
Here's how that translates into time zones across some of the world's major territories.
Defying their doubters again, England's second-half showing in Tuesday's final group game saw them not only sweep aside their Welsh neighbors but also reach the last 16 of Qatar 2022 as Group B winners.
They struck twice within 98 seconds at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, with Marcus Rashford breaking the deadlock via a 50th-minute free-kick before Phil Foden netted the second soon after. A rejuvenated Rashford later added the final flourish with a third - his nation's 100th World Cup goal.
Following an uninspiring performance in their draw with the United States just a few days before, the Three Lions more closely resembled the side that tore ruthlessly into Iran last week, and such attacking intent has confirmed their credentials to match recent runs at major finals.
Under oft-maligned manager Gareth Southgate, they ventured to the World Cup's final four in 2018 before falling just short on home soil at last year's Euros, so certainly have a track-record to support hopes of claiming a first global title since 1966.
Now set to meet Group A runners-up Senegal in Al Khor, England have yet to lose in 20 matches against African opposition, so Southgate's current crop surely start as favorites to progress on Sunday.
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Their quest for an elusive second World Cup started in the aftermath of an awful run of results through 2022 - during which time they were relegated from the top tier of UEFA's Nations League - but a return to form for Manchester United pair Rashford and Harry Maguire has played its part in building momentum behind their Qatari campaign.
Despite their near misses, England has also accrued plenty of tournament experience over the past few years, so will kick off their last-16 clash brimful of confidence too.
Senegal should not lack in that most precious of commodities either, as they arrived in the Middle East as African champions and have since negotiated safe passage to the knockout phase for just a second time.
Edging out Ecuador in a winner-takes-all contest, they were indebted to captain Kalidou Koulibaly for his 70th-minute winner at Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday.
The center-back's controlled volley was required after Ismaila Sarr's first-half penalty had been equalised by their South American opponents, and Aliou Cisse's side ultimately backed up a straightforward victory over Qatar. The latter result came after a loss to the Netherlands in their first fixture.
Cisse, supported by assistant El Hadji Diouf - another hero of Senegal's legendary 2002 campaign - now aims to lead his nation into the quarter-finals; perhaps setting up an emotional re-match with France, who they slayed in the finals' opening game some 20 years ago.
The former Birmingham City midfielder may be without star man Sadio Mane in Qatar, but since his appointment in 2015 has nurtured a spirited and tactically aware squad - the bulk of which lifted a first Africa Cup of Nations trophy in February, after winning the final on penalties.
While African teams have lost eight of nine World Cup knockout matches against European opponents to date - the sole exception being a Senegalese win over Sweden - if it comes to spot-kicks the Lions of Teranga could therefore hold a distinct edge over their English counterparts, who have so often seen shootouts result in painful failure.
As England face the African champions, things won’t be easy. They won the tournament only once in 1966. Since then, they have not managed to even reach the finals, which is odd for a prominent team like England. They finished fourth at FIFA 2018 in Russia, having been beaten to Croatia in the semis and to Belgium in the third-position match. This time, however, they are riding strong on scoring prowess. Scoring six goals against Iran and three against Wales were not easy even though a goalless draw against the USA was a little disappointing for the fans.
Senegal will be aware that, if they defeat England, it would be their first time to win three games in a single world cup. This is their third appearance in a world cup, and they look impressive this time. They do not depend on any particular player as five of them have scored in this tournament so far. Their 2-1 victory against Ecuador was especially impressive. They will prepare to shock many as they lock horns with the European squad.
|Photo: Getty Images|
Since England and Senegal have never met before, both teams will be motivated to start their rivalry strong. England have won two out of their last three matches whereas Senegal have won three out of their last five.
Watch out for Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice from England while Ismaila Sarr will impress for the Lions of Teranga.
England 2-0 Senegal
Having conceded at least once in all three matches so far, Senegal are ill-equipped to survive an onslaught from England's exuberant front line - provided Southgate's side play to their full potential.
Though well-organised and offering a clear threat on the break, the absence of integral players may see Africa's top team slain by the Three Lions in Al Khor.
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