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Who are the Senegal's best players? Key performers to watch in World Cup 2022 knockout rounds

12:20 WAT 03/12/2022
Kalidou Koulibaly World Cup 2022
The Lions of Teranga have made it to the last 16 - GOAL takes a look at their key players.

Senegal made it out of the 2022 World Cup group stage with two successive wins and now hope to go deep into the tournament.

Aliou Cisse's men lost to the Netherlands in their campaign opener in Group A but came back strongly to beat hosts Qatar 3-1 and Ecuador 2-1.

Senegal now face England in the round of 16 with the latter making it out of Group B as leaders.

GOAL takes a look at the best Senegal players at the 2022 World Cup.

  • Kalidou Koulibaly World Cup 2022

    Kalidou Koulibaly | Chelsea | DF

    The sturdy centre back is the skipper of Senegal and is a true leader of his pride of lions.

    He is the mainstay in Senegal's defence and a lot will rest on his shoulders when Aliou Cisse's men take on England. His battle with Harry Kane will be one to savour and it will be interesting to watch if he can keep the explosive Tottenham forward in check.

    Koulibaly also got a crucial goal against Ecuador, which was his first-ever for his country and could not have come at a better time.

  • Edouard Mendy Senegal.

    Edouard Mendy | Chelsea | GK

    Edouard Mendy endured a tough start to the World Cup after committing silly errors against the Netherlands, but came back strongly against Qatar and Ecuador respectively.

    He pulled off two stunning saves against the Maroons in the second half to deny them a memorable comeback, and against Ecuador he stepped up whenever his team required him to with crucial saves in the final quarter.

    Needless to say, against a fiercely attacking side like England his credentials will once again be tested.

  • Youssouf Sabaly.

    Youssouf Sabaly | Real Betis | DF

    Youssouf Sabaly has hardly put a foot wrong in the World Cup. Alongside Koulibaly, he has been one of Senegal's best performers.

    The right-back has won 100% of his tackles and has won 67% of his duels, which testify to his brilliant form in the defensive third.

    His battle with Marcus Rashford will be an intriguing one as the Manchester United forward heads into the match on the back of a brace against Wales.

  • Bamba Dieng of Senegal.

    Bamba Dieng | Marseille | FW

    If Senegal are trailing and in need of making a comeback, expect Bamba Dieng to come on. He has been used as a substitute who comes on just before the final quarter of a match to provide fresh impetus in the attacking third.

    England's backline will be tested by his pace, especially towards the end of the match with fatigue and tired legs. He has already opened his account in this World Cup with a goal against Qatar and will be looking to add more to his tally.

    Oh, and another thing - he converted his AFCON final penalty, which makes him useful in the event of a tiebreaker.

  • Ismaïla Sarr World Cup 2022

    Ismalia Sarr | Watford | FW

    After Sadio Mane was sidelined before the World Cup, the responsibility fell on Ismalia Sarr to fill his big boots. And the forward has not disappointed with his performances.

    Sarr has been the livewire for Senegal with his pace and guile, and he will be the once to watch out for against England. He can play on both wings with equal ease, likes to cut inside, and has a knack of taking on defenders in a duel. This explains why he is currently the most fouled player in the tournament.

    The 24-year-old is unpredictable with his movements and also likes to try his luck from distance, which should keep Jordan Pickford on his toes.

    Sarr has scored once so far in the tournament, from a spot-kick against Qatar.

  • Boulaye Dia Senegal 2022.

    Boulaye Dia | Salernitana | FW

    Boulaye Dia spearheads Senegal's attack. Just like Sarr, he also boasts searing pace and can be a handful for John Stones and Harry Maguire, who are not among the fastest on the pitch.

    Senegal are likely to hand the initiative to England and will play on the counter which will help him use the space behind the defence.

    Dia is a typical poacher who has the ability to turn games around. He has one strike to his name in the 2022 World Cup.