2022 FIFA World Cup Team Preview: Senegal


Senegal World Cup Team Preview


FIFA Ranking: 18
Manager: Aliou Cisse
Federation: CAF
Group: Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador
Odds to win World Cup+10000, BetRivers
Odds to win Group A+400, FanDuel Sportsbook
Odds to advance in Group A-125 Caesars


How did Senegal qualify for the World Cup? 

After advancing in their group, Senegal played a two-legged playoff against Egypt to qualify for the World Cup. Senegal advanced on penalties with Sadio Mane converting the qualifying kick. 

Who is Senegal’s most important player?

Sadio Mane

With all due respect to Kalidou Koulibaly, one of the world’s best defenders, Sadio Mane is the clear choice here. Mane is one of the top players in the word and has finally found his form at Bayern. Senegal has the potential to be the Cinderella story of this World Cup because of the electrifying winger. If you are brand-new to soccer and just trying to learn about the World Cup, I highly recommend watching some Sadio Mane highlights. 

What are Senegal’s strengths, weaknesses, style of play and form?

Senegal plays a classic 4-3-3 with Sadio Mane and Ismaïla Sarr on the wings. Their forwards provide elite pace in every match, centered around Mane, with a fairly defensive midfield built on strength. 

Senegal are incredibly strong up top and in the back. Up top, their pace up front with Mane and Sarr is second to none. Mane just finished second in the Ballon d’Or and Sarr is a lengthy, speedy winger playing in the Premier League for Watford. But Senegal is more than their speed, they have two world-class defenders in Kalidou Koulibaly and Abdou Diallo. This pairing only conceded two goals during Senegal’s African Cup of Nations title run. 

Their biggest weakness is their lack of creativity in the midfield. Sure, Mane is one of the most gifted and creative players in the world, but Senegal struggle to get him the ball in space. With the expectation that Cheikhou Kouyate, Idrissa Gueye and Nampalys Mendy are the three starting midfielders, Senegal are putting out an extremely defensive midfield. 

Senegal won the African Cup of Nations in 2021 but has been fairly inconsistent in their form in 2022 with wins over Egypt, a loss to Zambia and disappointing draws to inferior opponents like Eswatini and Mozambique. Senegal have a friendly against Kazakhstan Nov. 15 as their World Cup tuneup. 

What is Senegal’s World Cup Outlook? 

This is one of the most fun teams in the World Cup because of their pace, but most importantly, Sadio Mane. If Senegal are in the right form, this is a team that can go on a deep World Cup run, similar to what we saw with Croatia in the last World Cup. There is one huge unknown though, and that is Sadio Mane’s health. In his match with Bayen Nov. 8 (the day this is being written), Mane was subbed off after 20 minutes after injuring his knee. If Mane is seriously injured, Senegal basically lose any expectation to make it out of the group stage and go on a run. If Mane is healthy, this is the second-best team in Group A with a real shot of potentially winning the group over the Dutch. 

Best Senegal World Cup Bet

None at the moment. As the entire nation of Senegal’s holds their breath over Mane’s injury, I am also holding firm. If Mane is deemed healthy, Senegal will be one of my favorite long-shot futures of the tournament at around +8000/+10000 to win, with ample opportunities to hedge if they advance to the quarter finals (+340). 

Senegal World Cup Roster

Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy, Alfred Gomis, Seny Diang
Defenders: Kalidou Koulibaly, Pape Abou Cisse, Abdou Diallo, Fode Ballo Toure, Youssouf Sabaly, Ismail Jakobs, Formose Mendy
Midfielders: Pape Matar Sarr, Pape Gueye, Nampalys Mendy, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Moustapha Name, Loum Ndiaye, Cheikhou Kouyate, Krepin Diatta, Pathe Ciss
Forwards: Sadio Mane, Ismaila Sarr, Bamba Dieng, Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, Ilman Ndiaye, Nicolas Jackson

Group A   |  Ecuador   Senegal   Netherlands  Qatar

Group B  |  Iran  Wales  USA  England 

Group C  |  Mexico  Saudi Arabia  Poland  Argentina 

Group D  |  Tunisia  Denmark  Australia  France

Group E  |  Japan   Germany   Costa Rica   Spain 

Group F  |  Croatia  Morocco  Canada  Belgium 

Group G  |  Cameroon  Switzerland  Serbia  Brazil

Group H  |  South Korea  Uruguay  Ghana  Portugal

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