08:30 PM IST: Welcome to the live blog of the FIFA World Cup 2022 group stage match between Senegal and the Netherlands.
In the third match of the FIFA World Cup 2022, it will be the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal taking on the Netherlands at the Al Thumama Stadium, Doha on Monday. Senegal boasts a strong defensive unit but is missing its best-attacking player Sadio Mane who is ruled out due to injury. The Netherlands have fitness concerns of their own but come into their first World Cup since 2014 in excellent form. The Dutch are unbeaten in 15 matches since Louis van Gaal was appointed manager for the third time last year.
Netherlands form (all competition): W-W-W-D-W-W
Senegal form (all competition): D-W-W-L-W-W
Injury and team news
Memphis Depay is comfortably the top-scoring international in the Netherlands’ squad but has been struggling with a hamstring issue since appearing for the Oranje in September. Van Gaal confirmed the forward would not start their World Cup opener as he continues his recovery. Denzel Dumfries and Marten de Roon remain doubtful starters for this match.
The efforts to treat the damage Mane sustained to his fibula on November 8 – including the use of a witch doctor – couldn’t get the job done and he has now been officially ruled out of the tournament. Abdou Diallo is also a doubt with a knee problem.
Players to watch
Bergwijn is a great dribbler, and it is clear that it is not something he shies away from whilst on the ball. His pace and dribbling ability will cause a lot of trouble for the opposition team. He is also a good playmaker but in the absence of Depay, he will be the key player in the Holland attacking department.
Kalidou Koulibaly has built an incredible reputation as one of the most complete defenders in the game. Defensively, however, Koulibaly tends to get less involved in the game, and needs to be teamed up with a more defensive-minded central defender to balance the line. Koulibaly uses his upper body strength, rather than going for a ground tackle, to make a shoulder tackle on his opponents and tries to disturb their balance. He will be key for the Senegal defence as Holland will be a very difficult team to beat.
Both teams never faced each other previously, this will be the first time that they will be facing each other.