Netherlands coach  Louis van Gaal photo


Senegal will face the Netherlands in Group A of the 2022 World Cup. In Al Thumama, Qatar, the game will begin at 4 p.m. GMT, precisely 24 hours after the hosts' first game against Ecuador on Sunday.

Sadio Mane, who plays for Bayern Munich, won't be able to play in this year's World Cup because of a fibula injury he got this month against Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga. This is a big blow to Senegal before the tournament even starts.

Aliou Cisse, the head coach of the Lions of Teranga, thought that his star player would only miss the team's first or second games because of the problem. However, Cisse will now have to change his tactics to make up for the former Liverpool player's absence.

Senegal's first-ever Africa Cup of Nations victory and qualification for Qatar were both secured by Mane's two game-winning penalties against Egypt earlier this year. Mane's absence from the attack means that only Ismaila Sarr and Famara Diedhiou have scored more than 10 goals for their national teams.

Although Cisse's team has kept six clean sheets in their past eight competitive games, which has proven to be the foundation of their recent AFCON win and World Cup qualifying, Cisse's team is often difficult to break down.

As they attempt to advance to the knockout rounds for only the second time in their history, the 46-year-old will almost surely be aiming for his men to keep things tight against the Netherlands before moving on to more winnable matches against Qatar and Ecuador.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, are in great shape for the World Cup. Coached by Louis van Gaal, they made it to their second straight UEFA Nations League final.

Although the legitimacy of the young tournament is sometimes questioned, all three of the Oranje's opponents in Group 4 Belgium, Poland, and Wales will take part in the next World Cup, making their point total of 16 from six games seem even more remarkable than it first seems to be.

Despite failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Netherlands did make it all the way to the semifinals in 2014 under the guidance of Louis van Gaal, eventually falling to Argentina in a penalty shootout after a goalless draw over 120 minutes.

Despite missing a sprinkling of star individual skills compared to their past close calls, there is rising optimism that this may be their year. They are often recognized as the largest footballing country never to win the World Cup after losing three finals in 1974, 1978, and 2010.

To keep spirits up, it will be important to get off to a good start against Senegal on Monday. Since Mane is not on Senegal's team sheet, van Gaal might feel more confident to go for the kill.

KBC LIST of 28 Matches here.

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