World Cup 2022: Why Senegal has nothing to lose against England – Jermaine Jenas

Host Country: Qatar Appointment: November 20-December 18 Cover: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-to-day TV programsFull coverage details

Senegal have some very talented players but the biggest weapon the African champions will have against England on Sunday is their mindset.

Aliou Cissé’s team is a winner and has already crossed the line twice on two major occasions this year.

This team did the biggest thing they could do for their country when they beat Egypt in February to win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time and then followed that up a few weeks later by beating the same opposition during their barrage. to reach this World Cup.

So they have a manager who is loved and a group of very confident players.

Whatever happens in this tournament now, they will always be celebrated, so they enter this round of 16 with no fear of failure – the pressure is on. England.

A team that does not rely on a superstar

I covered CAN for the BBC in early 2022 and it was really interesting to follow the tournament and understand the dynamics of the different African teams.

I spoke a lot to Yaya Touré and his brother Kolo, who played for Ivory Coast, and former Arsenal right-back Lauren, who is from Cameroon.

They explained that some of the traditionally strong teams, like Ivory Coast or Nigeria, struggled against North African teams like Egypt, Morocco or Tunisia because they didn’t have the same organization and depended more on good people on the ground.

To win things, you need that team ethic – you need to become an organized team, meaning less dependent on a superstar and more dependent on the group.

Senegal clearly did. Yes, they would be stronger if Bayern Munich’s former Liverpool star Sadio Mane had been fit to play in Qatar, and the suspension of Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye for this game is a blow to them, but they have players who can step in.

Look behind their team, starting with Eduoard Mendy in goal and his Chelsea team-mate Kalidou Koulibaly at the heart of their defence, and they have quality and experience.

I still think England will dominate the game and have a lot more possession, but I see Senegal as a much bigger threat than any we have faced so far in this tournament.

USA were dangerous because we didn’t play very well while this Senegal side will not only be looking to frustrate England like Iran and Wales have done, they can also cause problems for Gareth Southgate’s side on the counter-attack.

Will Southgate return to type?

England need to focus on themselves and remember they put in a very positive performance against Wales. One of the things that Senegal will definitely talk about is how to stop all of our talented players, and Gareth Southgate needs to keep that momentum going.

I feel like we need to step up now anyway because France will probably be next in the quarter-finals if we get through this game. That kind of allowance we had in the group stage of being able to have a bad game or even a bad half is over now that we’re in the knockout stages.

We’re a pretty good team to bounce back from a poor 45 minute first half, especially with the options we’ll have on the bench, but I’d much rather we start this game the way we started the second half against the Country of Wales – trying to blow them away from the first minute.

That’s what I want to see, but as experts we’re torn between predicting what’s going to happen and what we’d like to do.

Personally, I would have Phil Foden in the team instead of Mason Mount, because I don’t see what he does that Foden can’t do. Yes, he’s coming back – but so is Foden.

And I feel like he really needs to play against Marcus Rashford because just looking at him he’s razor sharp and will scare any team.

I’m not sure Southgate will see it the same way, though – this could be the game where he gets back to type.

I feel like he’s more likely to see Rashford and Foden as game changers from the bench and return to the team he started the tournament with.

Graphic showing the England squad Jenas expects Southgate to choose: Pickford, Trippier, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Bellingham, Rice, Saka, Mount, Sterling, Kane
Graphic showing the England squad that started against Iran and USA which Jenas expects Southgate to pick to face Senegal. The BBC pundit would pick Kyle Walker over Kieran Trippier at right-back, have Marcus Rashford on the right wing ahead of Raheem Sterling and put Phil Foden in the middle in place of Mason Mount.

There is an argument for including Raheem Sterling because he has tournament pedigree and some 80 caps, and we are at the stage of this World Cup where you need that experience.

So I wouldn’t blame Southgate for doing that, but I just think we have a lot of players in good shape so why not let them play – and Rashford and Foden are two of them.

Jermaine Jenas was talking to Chris Bevan in Doha.

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