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World Cup Predictions: Senegal vs Ecuador

A place in the knockout stages will be up for grabs when Senegal and Ecuador meet in their final Group A match.

Ecuador are one point ahead of their African rivals as they have a win and a draw in their previous two games.

Senegal, on the other hand, bounced back from their opening day defeat with a 3-1 win over hosts Qatar.

Ecuador are currently the Group A leaders ahead of the Netherlands, which is a commendable feat by all means.

El Tri manager Gustavo Alfaro’s tactics have been spot-on in the first two matches. They have been equally good at raiding the opposition penalty box as they were defending their own.

Ecuador’s all-time leading goalscorer Enner Valencia has shouldered the goalscoring responsibilities again for his nation.

The Fenerbahçe striker has scored all three goals for Ecuador in the tournament and currently leads the Golden Boot race.

Valencia’s brace sank hosts Qatar in the opening match.

The 33-year-old was on target against the Netherlands too, as he cancelled out Cody Gakpo’s early opener. A win against Senegal will ensure Ecuador’s place in the round of 16.

If they can outmatch Oranje’s result against Qatar, they will go to the knockout stage as the Group A champions.

Sadio Mané’s absence cast a shadow of doubt over Senegal’s World Cup campaign. Still, the reigning African champions put on a spirited display against the Netherlands in their World Cup opener.

Senegal lost the match after conceding two late goals, but they showed they could fight toe to toe with the big boys.

The Lions of Teranga roared back to life in their second group match when they cruised to a 3-1 win over Qatar in their second match.

Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng were on target to put the hosts to the sword. Now, they need to pick up another win to extend their World Cup journey to the next stage.

A draw will also suffice if Qatar beat the Netherlands in their final match in the tournament. But Aliou Cissé’s men will want to have control of their fate in their own hands and go for the full three points.

Team News

Enner Valencia has been instrumental to Ecuador’s success, but the Latin American side might have to make do without their captain.

Valencia went off injured against Qatar, but he returned to the starting XI right against the Dutch. Unfortunately, he had to leave the pitch on a stretcher this time around. Gustavo Alfaro is hopeful about his availability, but nothing can be said for sure at the moment.

If Valencia fails to recover in time, Jeremy Sarmiento or Kevin Rodriguez will have to deputise for the former West Ham striker.

Senegal has no worry concerns to sweat over ahead of the tie.

Kalidou Koulibaly and Abdou Diallo will form the defensive core in front of the goalkeeper Édouard Mendy.

Ismaïla Sarr and  Krepin Diatta will take up the wider positions on the attack.

Boulaye Dia and Famara Diedhiou will renew their partnership up front.

Our Prediction

With both teams desperate to stay alive in the tournament, this is shaping up to be a closely fought encounter.

We think this will end in a 1-1 deadlock.

Date: 29 November

Kick Off: 8:30 PM IST

Venue: Al Thumama Stadium

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