World Cup Qatar vs Senegal tips: Lions of Teranga to add to host's World Cup woes

Qatar's days at their own World Cup are surely numbered, and Tipstrr football expert Sergiu Baltuta believes the home fans will again have little to cheer about in Friday's game against Senegal.

Host nation Qatar meet Senegal for the first ever time on Friday (1300 GMT), with both teams knowing that a second defeat would condemn the losing team to an early World Cup exit with the tournament barely five days old.

Qatar lost 0-2 against Ecuador in the first game but the gulf in quality between the two teams was far greater than that scoreline suggests.

Not only were they put under immense pressure at the back, but they also only managed just three brief touches in Ecuador's penalty area, and failed to register a single shot on target.

On the other side, The Lions of Teranga failed to roar when going down 0-2 to the Netherlands in a generally disappointing game that never ignited and barely deserved a winner.

Senegal will probably have counted themselves unlucky to have conceded two late goals, but it does highlight a defensive problem when facing top opposition. 

Since memorably beating World Cup holders France 1-0 on their World Cup debut in 2002, Senegal have now failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their eight subsequent outings at World Cup tournaments.

At the other end, Senegal have also lacked a cutting edge in front of goal recently, finding the net just five times in their last six games, and on Monday the injured Sadio Mane was conspicuous by his absence.

Qatar came into the World Cup as the only host nation never to have appeared at a previous tournament, and they now also boast the dubious record of becoming the first host to lose their opening game.

They will no doubt try to erase the poor impression they left against Ecuador, but they have work to do to win back the enthusiasm of a crowd that was quickly quietened in the tournament curtain-raiser.

Despite kicking off the tournament with high hopes after stringing together four wins and a draw in their warm-up games, their lack of potency in the first game was not really a surprise as four of Qatar's previous five games produced two goals or fewer.

Given Qatar's toothlessness going forward against Ecuador and Senegal's inability to keep a clean sheet, it looks as if something will have to give in Doha on Friday.  

Assuming Qatar will again be outclassed in the important areas, then of the two options, the best bet would appear to be that the home fans will again have little to cheer about - not even a goal - as Senegal look good value to kickstart their campaign with a win, a clean sheet and a decisive final game against Ecuador to look forward to.

  • For more top World Cup tips from Sergiu Baltuta visit SVB Tips on Tipstrr

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