Senegal vs Colombia – Thursday, June 28, 15:00BST/16:00CEST/17:00 MSK – Samara-Arena, Samara, Russia
“We want to walk in the footsteps of the 2002 World Cup team”, Sadio Mané explained to the media after Senegal’s 2-2 draw against Japan. Head coach Aliou Cissé had surprised Poland by making tactical switches playing a 4-3-3 formation. Against Japan, it was back to the more common 4-2-3-1.
At the same time, Cissé surprised by starting 19-year-old Moussa Wagué. The KAS Eupen right-back became the youngest African to score at a World Cup when he scored Senegal’s second goal of the game. Unfortunately, for Wagué, however, he also made two key mistakes that led to Japan walking away with a 2-2 draw.
“It is to bad that we couldn’t wrap it up after the 2-1 lead. But 2-2 is a good result,” Cissé told the media. The result means that Senegal need a draw to advance out of Group H.
Colombia were excellent on matchday 2 against Poland. Led by an excellent James Rodríguez and a fantastic Radamel Falcao Colombia dismantled Poland. It was a remarkable display in what was Colombia’s first final of the tournament and now gives Los Cafeteros a fighting chance to go through.
A draw, however, might not be enough for Colombia. “Against Senegal, we have our first final,” Colombia head coach José Pekerman said to the media. The math for Los Cafeteros is elementary, win and they will go through. A draw and Colombia will need Poland to beat Japan.
With Poland already eliminated, however, Colombia cannot rely on the Eastern Europeans to get the job done against Japan. But with James back in the side after being unable to start in the first match and with Colombia unlikely to go down a man again the chances are good for Colombia to win the match and reach the next round.
Senegal vs Colombia – Players to look out for:
Sadio Mané #10 – Senegal (Liverpool)
Sadio Mané is one of the three protagonists that made up Liverpool’s attacking trio last season – the other two are Brazil’s Roberto Firmino and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah. Mané, is perhaps, the most athletic of the three, however. Fast and with an eye for his teammates Mané plays a bit of a different role for Senegal where he plays right behind a natural striker in a false-nine role. Capable of packing in defensive lines at will Mané will be without a doubt the man to watch as Senegal take on Poland.
James Rodríguez #10 – Colombia (Bayern München)
How much did Colombia miss James Rodríguez in the first match? The second match against Poland gives us a very good indication. The Colombian playmaker was excellent in Colombia’s 3-0 victory over Poland. The Bayern playmaker outplayed his teammate Robert Lewandowski by assisting the first goal with a fantastic cross and then also provided the pass for the third goal. James seems to have overcome his early tournament injury and is now once again in the form that made him a weapon for Bayern München all season long.
Senegal vs Colombia – Match Stats
- Senegal have only met once in the past. In 2014 the two countries played a friendly and Senegal came from behind to equalise a 2-0 first-half deficit.
- Senegal have only once faced South American opposition. In 2002 they faced Uruguay on matchday 3 of the group stage and the match ended 3-3.
- Colombia played their first African opposition in 1990. They lost that match 1-2 after extra-time. Colombia then beat Tunisia in 1998 and Ivory Coast in 2014.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Senegal vs Colombia – 1-3
Senegal vs Colombia – Lineups
K. N’Diaye – Sabaly, Koulibaly, Sané, Wagué – Badou, A. N’Diaye, Gueye – Mané, Niang, Sarr
Head Coach: Aliou Cissé
Ospina – Mojica, D. Sanchez, Yerry Mina, Arias – Barrios, Aguilar – James, Quintero, Cuadrado – Falcao
Head Coach: Jose Pekerman
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.