England will play Senegal on Sunday evening in the 2022 FIFA World Cup last-16 - so we simulated the knockout clash to try and predict the final score.
Phil Foden ’s close-range strike – jammed in between two impressive Marcus Rashford goals – handed England a 3-0 win over Wales in the final game of Group B on Tuesday night. The win put the Three Lions on seven points from their three games in the World Cup 2022 group stages, meaning Gareth Southgate’s side will face Senegal in the first round of the knockout stages.
The African champions picked up three points in the final game of Group A to advance out of their group as runners-up, setting themselves up for a tasty-looking tie against England. Southgate made four changes to his starting XI against Wales, but we could see the likes of Rashford and Jordan Henderson potentially stay in the starting XI on Sunday.
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In the aftermath of England's 3-0 win against Wales, social media users joked that Welsh, along with Scottish, fans will now back England's next World Cup opponent, Senegal, as the game progresses. One meme showed an image from the UK sitcom, The Office, with actors Ricky Gervais and Mackenzie Crook wearing the Welsh team bucket hat, but added the caption: 'Go and get the Senegal flag'.
Ben White travelled back to England for personal reasons, meaning the defender is no longer part of Southgate’s squad. Raheem Sterling and Kieran Trippier could return to the XI on Sunday after being dropped for the clash with Wales.
So, could England advance to the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday evening? We simulated the clash to try and find out.
England vs Senegal score prediction
To run this simulation, we used FIFA 23 and updated the squads with the latest injuries and suspensions. We didn't select a team to control, but let the AI take the helm to get an England vs Senegal score prediction.
We speculate that England could line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with its line-up as follows:
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The Three Lions started the game on top at the Al Bayt Stadium, with the midfield battle falling heavily in England's favour. Henderson was caught late on the edge of the box to win a free kick in a dangerous position, and Trippier stepped up to send Southgate's side into an early lead.
Henderson played a quick one-two with Harry Kane to work around his marker, but the midfielder was blocked off from reaching the return pass as England was awarded a free-kick. A bit to the right of the goal, Trippier lifted his effort over the wall and into the top corner, leaving the airborne Edouard Mendy with no chance.
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Kane, Sterling, and Rashford all had marvellous chances to double the score not long after the opener, but the trio were wasteful in front of goal – letting Senegal off the hook for some poor defensive moments. But, just before the break, Rashford continued his purple patch as he netted his fourth of the competition to make it 2-0.
Jude Bellingham flicked Luke Shaw's cross to the feet of Rashford just outside the box, and the winger did well to push the ball onto his right and open his body up for a shot. After taking aim, his effort deflected off the defender's thigh and towards the centre of the goal, catching out Mendy and fizzing underneath the keeper.
It was a dominant first half from England, but six minutes after the restart, Senegal pulled a goal back as Iliman Ndiaye's driven cross into the box hit the inside of Jordan Pickford's foot and deflected into the net. Suddenly the African champions were back in the game, but the Three Lions regained control and made it 3-1 with under 10 minutes to go.
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Chelsea's Raheem Sterling has flown home from England's World Cup camp after his home in London was the target of an armed robbery whilst he way away at the tournament in QatarThe Chelsea star had played in the first two Group B games, scoring against Iran, before being replaced by Phil Foden in the last match against Wales. Sterling was left out of the squad that won against the African champions due to a 'family issue' which has later been revealed to be an armed robbery at his home in the UK.
Henderson threaded a pass into the path of Phil Foden inside the box, and the Man City man rolled the ball behind him and into the path of fellow substitute Bukayo Saka. On his left, Saka curled his effort into the far corner, securing the win and sending England through to the next round of the World Cup.
FIFA 23 predicts that England could breeze past Senegal in the World Cup Round of 16, with the Three Lions controlling the game from minute one to 90. Rashford and Sterling both starred in attack whilst the midfield trio of Henderson, Declan Rice and Bellingham dominated in the simulation.
Ultimately England's potency in front of goal will prove to be the difference as they pepper Senegal's goal with 19 shots, scoring three of their attempts, despite only having an expected goals return of 2.4.
Sunak and Macron joke on Twitter ahead of England-France clash .
In a light-hearted exchange on the social media site, the French president asked the Prime Minister if he would support France in the semi-final and received a speedy responseIn a light-hearted exchange on Twitter, the French president asked the British Prime Minister if he would support France in the semi-final if his side emerged victorious.