Qatar v Senegal
After a very disappointing performance against Ecuador on the opening day, Qatar have now nothing to lose in their group, and are almost already out of the competition. But this game against the current AFCON Champions will not be any easier than against Ecuador earlier this week, and they will need composure and envy on Friday night if they want to show a better image in this World Cup.
Aliou Cisse’s men created some good opportunities in the first game despite Mane’s absence against the Netherlands. They had 15 shots in the match and would have felt aggrieved when a couple of late goals went in for Louis Van Gaal’s side.
Cisse is a disciplinarian who rules with an iron fist. He seems to have achieved the desired squad unity and his side are very tenacious with and without the ball. Senegal managed 47% possession against the Dutch, who are traditionally a team that favours dominating the ball.
Senegal will be encouraged by their first game against the Netherlands but it is points that matter in the short group format of the World Cup. They head into their 2nd game knowing only a win will do. Qatar were extremely poor in the showpiece opening match and will be keen to give a better account of themselves.
I expect Senegal to run out as comfortable winners on Friday. Qatar were extremely sloppy in possession and seemed unable to cope with the physicality against Ecuador. Senegal have a pacey attack and they should be able to stretch to the backline of the home side.
Al Moez Ali is the top scorer in Qatar National Team’s history and has proven over and over that he has a great influence on Qatar offense. Against Ecuador, despite his team displaying a horrible performance, and having close to no occasions, he managed to get a shot, his sole of this game. We can expect to see the Annabis with better intention, therefore it is very likely to see Al Moez Ali shoot on target.
Defenders hitting a lot of passes has been a theme at this tournament. There seems to be a reluctance to press high from some teams. Qatar were extremely passive in their opening match and they will likely opt to contain Senegal by sitting back here.
The Qatar team are averaging 34.88 passes per defensive action; much higher than the norm in World football. Ecuador’s dominant ball playing centre-back, Hincapie, made 71 passes in the first match. Koulibaly will fulfil this role for Senegal and they are more possession orientated than Ecuador. The centre-back to hit 70+ passes looks a good bet here.
Idrissa Gueye played directly behind the striker in Senegal’s opener. The Everton man usually operates in a deeper role for his club and he seemed to enjoy the extra freedom afforded to him by Cisse.
Gueye managed 2 shots against the Netherlands, 1 of which found the target. He should have more joy against a significantly weaker Qatar team. 2.40 is a much bigger price than you’d normally find for a number 10. He hasn’t managed a single shot for Everton in his 10 league appearances this season so this bet is very much down to his position in the team. He is expected to be the most advanced midfielder again on Friday.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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