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Senegal predicted lineup vs England

Senegal face England on Sunday night in their first World Cup knockout match in two decades.

Aliou Cisse led the Lions of Teranga out of their World Cup group as captain in 2002. Four-and-a-half years ago, Cisse took Senegal back to the World Cup as a manager for the first time since his playing days – only to controversially exit on fair play points.

Yet, in the year that he oversaw Senegal’s first-ever AFCON triumph, Cisse added another date to the avenge tour by navigating his nation into the World Cup round of 16.

Here’s the XI Cisse may deploy in a bid to replicate the 2002 team’s run to the quarter-finals.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly has attempted a team-high seven dribbles at the World Cup / Fantasista/GettyImages

GK: Edouard Mendy – Chelsea’s dislodged number one hasn’t kept a clean sheet for club or country since August.

RB: Youssouf Sabaly – Already a World Cup winner, Sabaly won the global crown at the under-20 level in 2013 while playing for France’s youth team.

CB: Kalidou Koulibaly – “We are Senegal, we fear no one,” was the battle cry the nation’s captain delivered in the wake of their group-stage qualification.

CB: Abdou Diallo – The only player to feature in every minute of Senegal’s AFCON triumph.

LB: Ismail Jakobs – The former Germany youth team player almost missed the tournament due to an administrative error while he was changing allegiance. Fortunately for all concerned, the grinding cogs of FIFA bureaucracy turned just in time.

CM: Nampalys Mendy – The Leicester City midfielder hasn’t made a single Premier League start this season but emerged as a key figure for the national team during February’s triumphant Africa Cup of Nations.

CM: Pathe Ciss – The Rayo Vallecano midfielder has played against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid this season, avoiding defeat in all three games.

CM: Pape Gueye – It took a dramatic appeal to the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) for Gueye to avoid suspension during this year’s AFCON regarding his transfer to Marseille. With the hearing set for February, he was given the all-clear to head to Qatar.

RW: Iliman Ndiaye – The Sheffield United forward was playing non League football as recently as 2020.

ST: Boulaye Dia – Before breaking through with Stade Reims, Dia went on a trial with Airbus UK in the Welsh top flight. “It went well but I wasn’t prepared to go there,” he remembered.

LW: Ismaila Sarr – Having emerged from the same academy as Sadio Mane, the attacking burden in his absence has fallen on Sarr – who nonchalantly took on the responsibility of penalty duties against Ecuador.

Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher and Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

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