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Betting on Senegal at the 2022 World Cup

Senegal is definitely a team to watch in the upcoming World Cup. They are a highly attractive prospect for betting fans, so read on to learn more about the team and its background.

How Has Senegal Performed in Previous World Cups?

The national football team of Senegal will make their third World Cup appearance in the upcoming competition. It will be an exciting time for the team as it comes on the back of a first time Africa Cup of Nations title.

In 2002, when the World Cup was held in South Korea, Senegal made their debut appearance in the competition. They had won 4, drew 3 and lost 1 game in their group in the qualifiers, and finished at the top of the table, ahead of Morocco by goal difference. Once in, Senegal were placed in an extremely difficult group with Denmark, France and Uruguay. Though the debutants were expected to crash out in the group, the team caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of the World Cup. Senegal played their first World Cup match against the defending champions, France, and though the French team was filled with world class players such as Patrick Vieira, Marcel Desailly, Thierry Henry, and so on, Senegal managed a shock win. Papa Bouba Diop, who played in the French Ligue 1, opened the scoring on the half hour mark, and as the French could not score for the rest of the match, Senegal won the game. The Senegalese team were not strangers to French football, as 19 of their 23 squad players all played in the Ligue 1. Despite this, the result was a huge surprise and the debutants used the momentum in their next match as well.

They faced Denmark next, and though the Danish opened the scoring with a 16th minute penalty, Senegal came back to equalise in the 52nd minute. The game became tense in the second half, and midfielder Salif Diao picked up his second yellow card in the 80th minute. However, the 10-man Senegalese team managed to hold onto the draw to climb to second place in the group. In their last game, they faced Uruguay, and Senegal wasted no time in taking the lead. By the half time mark, the African nation had scored 3 goals, but in the next half Uruguay managed to bring the score level, and the match finished 3-3. Senegal placed second in the group, which was enough to secure them a place in the round of 16.

Next, Senegal faced Sweden, and in that game, they were once again underdogs to a team that had players such as Freddie Ljungberg, Henrik Larsson, and a young Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Both teams scored during regular time, and then the match went into extra time. Here, Henri Camara scored for Senegal to give his team the win and advance to the next round. Senegal played Turkey in the quarterfinals, and after no team scored during regular time, the game went to extra time. Turkey scored the first and only goal of the game in the 94th minute, and that ended Senegal's debut fairy-tale run.

It took 16 years for Senegal to return to the World Cup, this time with a new generation of players that included the likes of Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gueye, Mame Biram Diouf, Keita Balde, M'Baye Niang, Captain Cheikh N'Doye, and many other talents. Aliou Cisse, who captained the nation 16 years before, was now the head coach of Senegal. The team had breezed through the qualifiers, winning 5 of their 8 games and comfortably securing a place in the World Cup. They were drawn into a group with Colombia, Poland and Japan. Senegal won their opening match against Poland 2-1, and drew their second match 2-2 against Japan. In the final game, against Colombia, Senegal lost 2-1 to finish in third. They were on equal points and goal difference as Japan, but were only put in third because of a "fair play" tie break, based on the fact that Japan had fewer yellow cards than Senegal. This was the first time that the fair play rule was used in the World Cup.

Senegal’s Qualification Route to the World Cup

Though the Senegalese team may have felt hard done by after the 2018 World Cup, it did not stop the team from climbing to new heights. They won the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, for the first time in their history and crushed the competition in the CAF World Cup qualifiers. In the group stage, Senegal won all but 1 of their 6 games to finish at the top of the group. They were then drawn against Egypt, with the winner advancing to the finals. Liverpool teammates Sadio Mane and Mohamad Salah faced each other in their respective teams, Senegal and Egypt, and the first game ended 1-0 to Egypt. In the second game, when Senegal played at home, Senegal won 1-0, to send the game to extra time. After no winner was determined in the two periods of extra time, the two teams played a penalty shootout. Senegal missed their first two penalties, but so did Egypt. However, from the third penalty onwards, Senegal scored all their penalties, and they saved a third Egyptian penalty to win the game 3-1. With the win, Senegal secured their place in the World Cup, whilst Egypt failed to qualify.

Senegal’s World Ranking

At the beginning of the qualifiers, Senegal sat in the 20th place in the World Rankings. After their impressive run of form in the qualifiers and their success in the Africa Cup of Nations, the team climbed up to the 18th place, where they currently sit.

Which Players Can Senegal Field?

The Senegal football team has not changed much since their entry in the 2018 World Cup. They have a few new options for keepers, such as Chelsea's Edouard Mendy, and Alfred Gomis who plays for Rennes.

Kalidou Koulibaly is now the captain, and he leads his team from the central defensive position. Next to him, Saliou Cisse, Youssouf Sabaly, Abdou Diallo, and Fode Ballo-Toure are just some of the defensive options.

In midfield, PSG's Idrissa Gueye will be the key player to watch, and alongside him, they can field Nampalys Mendy, Cheikhou Kouyate, or Pape Gueye, amongst others.

Senegal's attack will frighten many defences. Their key player is Sadio Mane, who is their most highly valued footballer. Next to Mane, there are a number of speedy attacking options such as Ismaila Sarr, Ketia Balde, Krespin Diatta and Famara Diedhiou.

How to Bet on Senegal at the World Cup

If you feel confident about the Africa Cup of Nations champions in the upcoming World Cup, then you may be interested in the bets you can place on them. There are many player bets, allowing you to bet on the top Senegalese players’ performances in the tournament, such as which player will win the golden boot, which player will win the golden ball, and many more.

Golden Boot Bet

The golden boot is a highly sought after award that is given to the footballer who scores the most goals in the World Cup. Senegal’s Sadio Mane, who is the current all-time leading goal scorer for the nation, will be on the list of top goal scorers, amongst many of the other top class players in the competition.

Golden Glove Bet

Keeping out goals can be just as important in the World Cup as scoring them, which is why there is an award for the best goalkeeper in the competition. Edouard Mendy is the first choice goalkeeper for Senegal, and if the team can defy expectations and reach far in the competition with his help, he will be a contender for the golden glove.

Golden Ball Bet

The player who can inspire their team the most in the World Cup is awarded the golden ball. Players who are given this award are not necessarily in the team that wins, but they will have brought their team to the latter stages of the tournament. In Senegal, Sadio Mane is probably the most influential player in a game, as he was when he played for Liverpool, and he definitely has the quality to turn matches around.

Other Bets

There are plenty of other pregame markets, combos, and live bets. In addition to standard bets such as match winner, Asian handicap, total goals, correct score, and so on, you will also find a huge range of player props and game props. You will also be able to place bets on Senegal’s progress in the tournament, such as whether they will reach the knockout stages, reach the final, and so on.

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