Kick-off: 1300, 25/11/2022
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium
Qatar have already made unwanted World Cup history and must improve quickly if they are to make a mark on the tournament they are hosting.
The minnows became the first host nation to lose the opening match of a World Cup tournament in what was supposed to be their easiest game as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Ecuador.
Senegal are also looking to bounce back from an opening loss and look much better equipped to do so, meaning the Africans to win to nil at 7/5 is our opening Qatar vs Senegal prediction.
Qatar’s World Cup party fell flat on the opening night as a brace from Ecuador captain Enner Valencia condemned them to defeat.
The tiny Gulf state was desperate to get off on the right foot from a sporting perspective after years of criticism over the award of the World Cup to the country.
But Valencia’s first-half double – a penalty and a perfectly-placed header – proved too much for the hosts, who are out to 18/1 for a top-two finish in Group A.
Felix Sanchez’s side are the reigning Asian champions and have played 11 friendlies since July alone but were still outclassed, with Valencia also having an early goal marginally ruled out for offside.
Sanchez said: “There is a lot of room for improvement. Maybe the responsibility and nerves got the best of us. We didn’t start well. It was a terrible start actually.”
Looking at the 31/20 for Senegal to be leading at both half-time and full-time looks a solid pick.
Senegal lost their opening game 2-0 against the Netherlands and victory here is vital to set up what could be a shoot-out with Ecuador for a place in the last 16.
The Lions of Teranga are missing their talisman, Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane, at this tournament and though they battled hard, could not find a way past the debutant Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert.
Senegal must now prove they can find the net without Mane and coach Aliou Cisse said: “It was a very difficult match, a balanced match, I don’t think the score reflected the match fairly. I was happy with how we performed, the next match is vital if we are to progress.
“The coach is responsible for any defeat – perhaps I’m the one to blame. We had two or three really good chances to score. But we did create chances, so we will take encouragement from that.”
Watford striker Ismaili Sarr had two good chances in the first half against Qatar and headed to the World Cup with six goals for his club this season.
He should get plenty of opportunities here and Sarr to outscore the opposition at 9/2 completes our Qatar vs Senegal betting tips.
QATAR 0-2 Ecuador
Netherlands 2-0 SENEGAL
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