Senegal vs Netherlands : Match preview, team news and possible lineups

Last Updated on 20/11/2022 by

Three-time World Cup runners-up Netherlands and Senegal will meet for the first time on Monday in a Group A match at Al Thumama Stadium. Senegal will try to continue their perfect start to the World Cup when they play the Netherlands.

The defending African champions have won both of their previous opening matches, including an unexpected 1-0 victory over France in 2002 and a 2-1 triumph over Poland in 2018. Cisse is hoping for a better result this time after Senegal was eliminated in the group phase of the most recent tournament despite reaching the quarterfinals 20 years ago.


After defeating the same team the following month in a World Cup qualifying play-off to advance to Qatar 2022, Senegal beaten Egypt in February to earn their first Africa Cup of Nations championship.

Before the World Cup even started, Senegal was dealt a severe blow when Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane was forced to withdraw from the competition due to a fibula injury he sustained earlier this month while playing for Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.

Aliou Cisse, the head coach of the Lions of Teranga, had hoped that the problem would only restrict his star player from playing in the team’s first or second game, but he will now need to modify his tactical plan to account for the apparent lack of the former Liverpool player.

Senegal’s first-ever Africa Cup of Nations victory and qualification for Qatar were both sealed by Mane’s two game-winning penalties against Egypt earlier this year. With only Ismaila Sarr and Famara Diedhiou reaching double digits in goals for their national teams, Mane’s absence in attack is obviously significant.

Senegal may well have a perfect record in the first game, but the Netherlands has won six of their last eight curtain-raisers and is unbeaten in those contests. After having failed to qualify for Russia 2018, the Netherlands are back on the international stage under the veteran manager Louis van Gaal, who is now in his third tenure.

pic @netherlands twitter

Van Gaal, who will retire at the conclusion of the competition, acknowledges that his team will require more than just talent to win the trophy in Qatar for the first time. In four finals matches against African opponents, the Netherlands are unbeaten, while Senegal has won two and drawn one of its group-stage encounters with European teams.

In order to keep the team’s spirits high against Senegal on Monday, it will be essential get off to a solid start. Van Gaal might feel more secure to go for the kill because Mane isn’t listed on the opposition team sheet, which gives him more leeway.

Senegal Team News

Due to a fibula injury that will require surgery, Mane has left the Senegal team. In his place, Nicolas Jackson, Iliman Ndiaye, Krepin Diatta, and Bamba Dieng are all competing for a spot on the left flank. Due to his inherent speed and dexterity with the ball, Diatta might prevail in that particular contest, while RB Leipzig’s Abdou Diallo might miss his nation’s opening World Cup game due to a knee problem.

Senegal possible starting lineup:

E. Mendy; Sabaly, Cisse, Koulibaly, Ballo-Toure; Kouyate, Mendy, Gueye; Sarr, Boulaye Dia, Diatta

Netherlands Team news

With Memphis Depay ruled out of at least their 1st game due to a hamstring injury, Netherlands will also be without their own attacking talisman. The Barcelona forward hasn’t played for club or country since suffering an injury against Poland in September. He managed to score 12 goals during World Cup qualifying.

pic @netherlands twitter

Denzel Dumfries is also questionable after being substituted during Inter Milan’s Serie A match against Atalanta last week, and Marten de Roon is also unlikely to play after completely missing that game due to a back problem. As a result, Jeremie Frimpong and Vincent Janssen may be given opportunities right away, though van Gaal may choose to start with three central midfielders and a front two of Cody Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn.

Netherlands possible starting lineup:

Pasveer; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Frimpong, F. De Jong, Koopmeiners, Blind; Klaassen; Cody Gakpo, Bergwijn

Players to Watch

Boulaye Dia 

Senegal suffered a cruel blow when Mane went down with an injury right before the tournament. The forward had been involved directly in 12 of their previous 25 goals in important tournaments. Now it will be up to others, like Salernitana forward Boulaye Dia, who’s been on fire at the club level this season, to step up and fill the void. Only five players can match Dia’s six goals in 14 Serie A games so far in 2022–23, and he has been involved directly in eight additional goals for a mid-table Italian club.

Memphis Depay 

With only three games and 131 minutes of action for Barcelona this year, Depay’s most recent game was in September. Van Gaal has stated that the attacker was far too significant to leave out from his 26-man squad, despite the fact that he was probably not healthy enough to play against Senegal in its entirety. It makes sense given that he contributed to more goals compared to any other player  in the European World Cup qualifying matches, scoring 12 of them himself and dishing out six more in ten games.



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