The 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar started their campaign at the competition on a wrong footing and will be looking to rectify things when they face Senegal in the second day of action. This match, on Friday 25th November, will be staged at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha. Senegal are also looking to bounce back after a loss to the Netherlands, results that leave the two at the bottom of Group A. Qatar lost 2-0 courtesy of Enner Valencia’s first half double and though they registered a much more improved performance in the second half, they couldn’t break the South Americans. Qatar’s first ever World Cup game would have ended worse had an early goal by Valencia not been ruled out by VAR. That loss means the hosts have just one win in their last 10 matches and in that run, they have managed only one clean sheet. In their last four matches, they’ve registered no clean sheet and in each of the last three they’ve conceded two goals. Qatar have played largely friendly matches over the last one year, most of them not on the FIFA calendar and only the Ecuador game in the World Cup opener was the competitive game in the last 34 outings.
Senegal did well to hold off Netherlands in their opening game but late lapses, aided heavily by poor judgement from Edouard Mendy in goal led to the African side losing 2-0. As is already known, Senegal came to this competition without their talisman, Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane, the man whose contribution ensured the team qualified for Qatar 2022. His absence in the Netherlands loss was glaring, as Senegal struggled to create much in attack. The little they could muster was well dealt with by the Dutch keeper and for them to advance from this group, they will have to do better with the resources available. Senegal go into this game without a win in their last two matches but they have four wins in six. They will also bank on the confidence gained from the fact that they’ve played tougher opponents in the last 10 matches. Senegal have played the Netherlands, Iran, Bolivia and Egypt three times in their last 10 games and will feel this is a winnable game. They have two losses only in their last 15 matches, and won nine. In three of their last six competitive matches, the Africans have kept clean sheets.
Qatar have one win in their last 10 matches and they haven’t played a lot of competitive matches in the last one year. Ahead of this game, they have conceded twice in each of the last three matches, and they haven’t registered a lot of clean sheets in the last 10 either. Senegal have done well in their recent matches and are favorites to end their two-game winless run. Go for the African champions to bag three points here.
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