Senegal have nothing to lose against England

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

Aliou Cisse’s side are winners, and they have crossed the line twice on two huge occasions already this year.  This team did the biggest thing they can do for their country when they beat Egypt in February to win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time, and then they followed it up a few weeks later by beating the same opposition in their play-off to reach this World Cup.

So they have a manager who is loved, and a very confident group of players.  Whatever happens to them in this tournament now, they will still be celebrated, so they go into this last-16 tie with no fear of failure whatsoever – the pressure is all on England.

To win things, you need that team ethic – you have to become an organised side is that is less reliant on one superstar and more reliant on the group.

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

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

England may dominate the game, and they have a lot more possession, but has  Senegal as a much bigger threat than anyone we have faced so far at this tournament.

The United States were dangerous because we didn’t play very well whereas this Senegal team will not just look to frustrate England like Iran and Wales did, they can also cause Gareth Southgate’s side problems on the counter-attack.

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