Group A of the World Cup is a fascinating quartet in every way. Host Qatar and Ecuador square off Nov. 20 to open the tournament. Senegal, the African champion, has its best team ever, while the Netherlands is looking to make yet another deep run after missing out on 2018.
Here is everything to know about Senegal:
Coach: Aliou Cissé
Highest finish: Quarterfinals
2018 finish: Group stage
FOX Bet odds: +8000
What we’re excited to watch: With a spine of elite players and a free-flowing attack, Senegal should be one of the most entertaining teams in Qatar.
What success looks like: As much as getting to the knockout round for just the second time would be celebrated, Senegal’s dream is to make history as the first African team to reach a semifinal.
X-Factor: Mane’s injury. Senegal’s best player is in a race against time after getting injured playing for Bayern Munich on Nov. 8. At his best, the winger’s relentless defensive pressure unbalances foes, and when he has the ball in the attacking third of the field Mane is capable of winning a match all by himself.
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Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports and he has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.
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