World Cup Preview | Ecuador v Senegal

Ecuador will look to secure a last 16 spot as they meet Senegal on the last matchday of the World Cup group stages in Qatar. The South American outfit has emerged as a dark horse after beating hosts, Qatar, on the first matchday and then securing a draw versus the Netherlands in the second. Despite a resolute effort against the Oranje, Senegal fell to defeat. However, they recovered and grabbed the three points against the hosts, sending them out of the World Cup.

Enner Valencia’s three goals make him in the top spot for the goal scorers charts alongside Kylian Mbappé of France. In their previous fixture, Valencia’s 49th-minute strike equalised Cody Gakpo’s opener to draw with Holland and La Tri will secure a last 16 spot with a win here and could potentially finish Group A as winners should they outscore Netherlands’ result who play Qatar.

Currently in third place with three points, Senegal are bullish about their chances to qualify for the knockouts after a determined display against Qatar. Goals from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng were enough for the AFCON titleholders to stay in contention to progress from the group. For Senegal to progress, a win is required against Ecuador – a draw will end their hopes for this World Cup until Qatar can defeat the Netherlands.

Last five matches in all competitions:

Ecuador: D W D D D

Senegal: W L D W W

Team News: For Ecuador, captain and top goalscorer Enner Valencia is set to be a serious doubt after being stretchered off in the 1-1 draw against the Dutch. One of Jeremy Sarmiento and Kevin Rodriguez is expected to replace Valencia up front if required. Meanwhile, Senegal’s squad is fully fit and all of their 26 players are available for selection.

Predicted XIs

Ecuador (3-4-2-1): Galindez; Porozo, Torres, Hincapie; Preciado, Mendez, Caicedo, Estupinan; Plata, Sarmiento; Estrada

Senegal (4-4-2): Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; Sarr, Mendy, Gueye, Diatta; Dia, Diedhiou

GWFN | Trambak Bhattacherjee

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