Will 2022 finally be the year in which the Netherlands win its first World Cup? The Dutch certainly have the goals in their side to go far in this competition but they often struggle at the back which could end up costing them if they make it through to the latter stages. Senegal will be hoping to use the heat of Qatar in their favour as they aim to become the first-ever African country to win the World Cup.
These two countries have never played one another before and as things stand, the Netherlands are the clear favourites to win with the bookmakers. The Netherlands failed to qualify for the last world cup in Russia and while they still look a little dodgy in defence, the Dutch are a force to be reckoned with when on the attack and we're backing them to beat Senegal on Monday.
Memphis Depay is edging closer and close to Robin van Persie's goalscoring record for the Netherlands and could even break the record before the World Cup even kicks-off. The Barcelona forward has netted 42-goals in 80-caps for the Dutch and we're backing Depay to score against Senegal in the pair's opening game of Group A.
All you need to know about Senegal vs Netherlands
This will be the first ever meeting between Senegal and Netherlands, and the odds show that the Dutch team are highly favoured. They come into the tournament in good form, having finished top of their Nations League group to qualify for next year's Final Four, which they will play on home soil.
Meanwhile Senegal come into the tournament as reigning AFCON champions. Avoiding defeat in what is their toughest World Cup group game on paper would give them every chance of advancing to the knockout stage.
In the goalscorer markets, Memphis Depay is seen as most likely to get on the scoresheet, while the absence of Sadio Mane through injury means Boulaye Dia is Senegal's biggest goal threat.
An entertaining 90-minutes on the cards
The three main names to miss out on a call-up to the Senegal squad for the World Cup are defenders Bouna Sarr and Saliou Ciss, though, the later is without a club and wouldn't have been match-fit, and attacker Keita Balde of Spartak Moscow who has 40-caps and 6-goals for his country. Mane remains Senegal's danger man and the likes of Kouyate, Idrissa Gueye and Koulibaly provide a solid backbone to the side. You can't write off Senegal at such an early stage but the Netherlands are the big favourites to win this game.
Jasper Cillessen and Tim Krul have both missed out on the 26-man squad with van Gaal going instead for an inexperienced three goalkeepers that have a total of 8-caps between them. Martins Indi and Wijnaldum both miss out through injury, while there were also no places for Wijndal, Clasie, Gravenberch, Malen or Danjuma. The goalkeeping position is certainly the weak area of this Netherlands squad but van Gaal has included two uncapped players in Frimpong of Leverkusen and Simons of PSV.
Senegal: Mendy, Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Ballo-Toure; Gueye, Mendy, P.M. Sarr, I. Sarr, Dia & Mane
Netherlands: Bijlow, De Vrij, Van Dijk, de Ligt, Ake, Dumfries, Blind, F. De Jong, Klaassen, Depay & Bergwijn
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Senegal vs Netherlands – FAQ
Where can I watch the game? – ITV, STV, ITVX or STV Player
Where is this game being played? – Al Thumama Stadium (ad-Dōha (Doha)).