Senegal will be appearing at their third World Cup Finals, having qualified in 2002 and 2018. In 2002, they shocked the world when beating holders France 1-0 in the tournament’s opening match. After that, they made it to the quarter-finals of their first World Cup before losing 1-0 in sudden death extra-time against Turkey. Then in 2018, Senegal and Japan finished Group H with identical points and goal difference records. However, Japan took the second spot as they had received fewer yellow cards than the Lions of Teranga.
Senegal topped their group in qualifying for the World Cup in 2022 with five victories from six matches played. They then faced Egypt in the third round of CAF qualification. After a 1-0 defeat in Cairo in the first leg, Boulaye Dia levelled the match with a 3rd-minute goal in the return leg just four days later. This proved to be the final goal of the tie, with penalties deciding the outcome.
Mohamed Salah missed the first Egyptian penalty, and it was left to Sadio Mane to convert the winning spot-kick and send his country to back-to-back World Cup Finals for the first time in their history.
This qualification marked a historic year for the Senegalese as they had also won the Africa Cup of Nations in February, their first AFCON title. As in the final round of World Cup qualification, Egypt and Mo Salah were the final obstacles they had to overcome in Cameroon. The match was also decided on penalties, with Sadio Mane again stepping up to score the decisive one.
Having faced the disappointment of Group Stage elimination in 2018, Senegalese fans will be hoping they can make it to the knockout stages this time. With international success already accomplished in 2022, they look to have a great chance of putting in their best World Cup performance.
Senegal World Cup Group
Match Day 1
Senegal vs Netherlands
21st November 2022, 10:00 UK Time, Al Thumama Stadium
Match Day 2
Qatar vs Senegal
25th November 2022, 13:00 UK Time, Al Thumama Stadium
Match Day 3
Ecuador vs Senegal
29th November 2022, 15:00 UK Time, Khalifa International Stadium
Senegal World Cup Squad
Sadio Mane is the talisman of the Senegal side and has a vast public following in his country. He won the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and UEFA Champions League in his six years with Liverpool before moving to Bayern Munich this summer. Making his international debut in 2012, Mane has 33 goals in 91 appearances. When scoring a hat-trick against Benin in June this year, he became Senegal’s all-time leading scorer.
Kalidou Koulibaly was born in France and played for their U20 side but in 2015 switched his allegiance to Senegal. He is the captain of the national side and has made 62 international appearances without scoring. He has placed his club football with Napoli in Serie A since 2014, making over 300 appearances for Gli Azzurri. His career honours include the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, 2020 Coppa Italia, 2014 Supercoppa Italiana and 2013 Belgian Cup.
Edouard Mendy almost dropped out of football altogether before starring for Rennes in the 2019-20 season. However, having helped the French side secure Champions League qualification, he moved to Chelsea for around £22 million. A regular in the first team for the last two seasons at Stamford Bridge, Mendy lifted the UEFA Champions League back in 2021. He has made 25 international appearances since 2018 and will be a crucial player in this tournament.
Senegal World Cup Odds
No African team has won a World Cup yet, the furthest any African team has made it in the World Cup is the quarter-finals. This has happened on three occasions, most recently with Ghana in 2010. Senegal are priced at around 100/1 to win the tournament and become the first African winner of the tournament.
Senegal World Cup Predictions
Despite failing to make it out of the group in Russia, Senegal look to have an excellent opportunity to progress into the knockout stages this time. England could await in the Round of 16 if Senegal finishes second and the Three Lions top their group. Backing Senegal to be knocked out in the Round of 16 looks a solid option. While 4/1 is on offer to reach the quarters, which could provide value.
With tournament success behind them, Senegal could cause a few upsets in the tournament this year. They will battle it out with the Netherlands for the top spot in Group A, which could be crucial as to how far they progress. England would face a tough test in the Round of 16 should results go that way. although Senegal would be likely favourites against the other sides in Group B. The round of 16 or quarter-finals are the most likely stages of elimination.