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Senegal vs Netherlands Match Preview

18 Nov 2022 22:56    

Senegal vs Netherlands Match Preview

The Netherlands to romp past Senegal to kick off WC Group A

Senegal vs Netherlands - 21/11/2022

The Netherlands will fancy their chances of winning Group A at the 2022 World Cup. Louis van Gaal’s side isn’t receiving much pre-tournament talk about being possible World Cup winners. However, the Dutch have a strong team and are coming off a fantastic UEFA Nations League campaign.

Bookmakers don’t like the Netherlands’ path to the final. The Dutch would likely play the World Cup’s second-favourite, Argentina, in the quarterfinals. If the Netherlands win the quarterfinal showdown, they would then likely come up against World Cup favourite Brazil.

Of course, we are getting ahead of ourselves, as the Oranje must win Group A to follow the path outlined above to reach the final. First up for the Netherlands are the reigning Africa Cup of Nations winner, Senegal.

Senegal’s chances of qualifying for the round of 16 took a blow with the announcement that Bayern Munich superstar Sadio Mane is ruled out of the tournament.

The forward’s injury was announced four days before Senegal kick off the World Cup tournament after Mane sustained it during Bayern Munich’s final week of Bundesliga action before the break.

Manager Aliou Cisse will hope the team can show its resolve without Mane. However, Senegal were not the most high-scoring, inventive team even with Mane in the side. There is fear Senegal’s opportunity to reach the last 16 is over, opening the door for either Qatar or Ecuador.

Van Gaal has two injury worries going into matchday No 1. Barcelona forward Memphis Depay is nursing a thigh issue but should be available to start. Midfielder Marten de Roon has a thigh injury and may not be able to play.

The Dutch manager has favoured a 3-4-1-2 formation in recent games. If Depay is fit, he should play as one of the two strikers. Wout Weghorst will also be an option and provides a classic target-man approach giving Depay the chance to play balls off him.

Virgil van Dijk will anchor the defence, with Nathan Anke possibly taking a place next to him. Van Gaal prefers to use defensive players as wing-backs. This gives the Dutch the opportunity to revert to a five-man backline in defence.

The Netherlands scored 33 goals in 10 qualifying matches for an average of 3.3 goals per game. Senegal should struggle without Mane and fail to stretch the Dutch defence. The Netherlands should start with a strong 3-0 victory.

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