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How Senegal could line up against England

How Senegal could line up against England

Aiming for their nation’s second-ever appearance in the World Cup quarter-finals, African champions Senegal will meet England for the first time at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.

After the Lions of Teranga finished runners-up in Group A, they now move into the knockout phase but will be without some integral cogs in their well-oiled machine.

In addition to absent talisman Sadio Mane, Aliou Cisse must make do without another pair boasting plenty of Premier League experience – Nottingham Forest’s Cheikhou Kouyate and Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye.

While Kouyate was put out of action due to an ankle injury suffered against the Netherlands in Senegal’s opening game, the latter will also be missing as he serves a suspension for picking up two bookings during the group stage.

Aside from drafting in Leicester City’s Nampalys Mendy for Gueye at the heart of his midfield, Cisse could name an unchanged starting XI from that which lined up versus Ecuador last time out, though Bamba Dieng has showed flashes of his ability from the bench and both Krepin Diatta and Famara Diedhiou hope to reclaim their respective places.

However, Watford winger Ismaila Sarr – who coolly opened the scoring from the spot on Tuesday – and Sheffield United’s Iliman Ndiaye (on nine Championship goals and two assists this season) are more likely to support Salernitana striker Boulaye Dia up front.

As ever, Chelsea duo Edouard Mendy and captain Kalidou Koulibaly are the rocks on which the Senegalese rearguard is built; right-back Youssouf Sabaly has also impressed in Qatar but will have his hands full against England’s in-form forwards on Sunday.

Senegal possible starting lineup: E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; P. Gueye, N. Mendy, Ciss; Ndiaye, Dia, I. Sarr

> Click here to see how England could line up for this last-16 contest

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