Determined to Bounce Back
Last Sunday, Qatar rewrote history in a bad way. The Maroons became the first World Cup host to lose in its debut. As for Senegal, the Lions of Teranga put up a good fight against the Netherlands but still ended up losing.
Whoever loses on Friday will say goodbye to soccer’s grandest stage.
Qatar: New Approach
Qatar’s first World Cup match was against Ecuador, a team that suffered a lot to finish fourth in the CONMEBOL qualifiers. No disrespect to Ecuador, but I thought Qatar was going to put up a better fight. In the end, the South Americans won 2-0 thanks to a brace scored by Enner Valencia.
The Maroons didn’t even take a shot on goal, something that has to change if they want to defeat Senegal. The good news is that they finished with 47 percent of possession and completed 80 percent of their passes, meaning the chemistry is there.
Another thing that has to change is the team’s 5-3-2 formation they used against Ecuador. They need a more offensive approach. Otherwise, Almoez Ali will be another spectator and that would be a shame. Ali won the Golden Boot in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and the 2021 Gold Cup. In other words, he’s a certified scorer.
Finally, the Maroons have a good memory from their last match against an African team since they defeated Ghana 2-1 back in August.
Senegal: Forgetting Mane
The news about Sadio Mane not being available for the WC due to injury was a huge blow for Senegal. Even so, the Lions of Teranga put up a good fight against the Netherlands, the soccer betting favorites to win Group A.
The Flying Dutchmen ended up winning 2-0, but Cody Gakpo scored the opener in the 84th minute. Plus, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy could have done a lot more to prevent it. Davy Klaassen sealed the deal in stoppage time.
With Mane out, Boulaye Dia and Bamba Dieng are expected to lead the attack. Dia was a starter against the Flying Dutchmen, but Senegal should also change formation from 4-5-1 to at least 4-4-2 in order to attack a bit more. Dia has scored five goals in 11 matches for Salernitana in the Italian Serie A. As for Dieng, who plays for Marseille in Ligue 1, he has scored one goal in six matches.
Prior to losing to the Netherlands, Senegal drew 1-1 to Iran and defeated Bolivia 2-0, two teams that are better than Qatar.
Qatar vs Senegal Match Information
- Match: Qatar vs Senegal
- Date/Time: Friday, Nov. 25, 8 a.m. ET
- Location: Al-Thumama Stadium, Doha
- Qatar vs Senegal Live stream: fubo.tv
Qatar vs Senegal Picks & Prediction
- Worth Betting on the Moneyline?
Senegal is offering a -155 price in the sportsbook. Considering all of the above, that’s not a bad deal. Yes, Mane is out, but we’re talking about a team whose roster also includes Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester City), Idrissa Gueye (Everton) and Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig), players who are used to facing la crème de la crème every weekend.
- Worth Betting ATS?
Yes, that’s if FIFA/VAR doesn’t intervene. Senegal plays at a completely different pace, which is why I believe they can end up winning by two goals without too much trouble. According to the latest soccer odds, they’re -1 at +120, meaning you could win $120 per every $100 wagered on them.
- Worth Betting on the Totals?
Yes, because the game total is set at two goals and the over is offering a -135 price. There’s also Senegal’s total, which is set at 1½ and the over is offering a -105 price. In both cases, the investment represents a lower risk than the moneyline.
Score Prediction: Senegal 3, Qatar 1
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.