The second games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup group stage begin on Friday. By then, each of the 32 teams in the tournament will have one game under their belts as they begin to make adjustments to advance to the knockout stage. Group A had winners in their first two games, which brings up an interesting second game since the two winners, Netherlands and Ecuador, and the two-game one losers, Qatar and Senegal, face each other.
Qatar and Senegal have never played each other in an official game. Kickoff Friday is set for 8:00 am ET on FS1, with the game taking place in Al Thumama Stadium in Doha. If the Netherlands/Ecuador game ends in a draw on Friday, then the loser of this game would be eliminated.
Senegal is a heavy favorite at MyBookie with a -154 money line. The host nation, Qatar, is a +460 money line underdog and a draw is +275. Let’s have a closer look at the upcoming game between Qatar and Senegal, along with their FIFA World Cup Odds.
2022 FIFA World Cup Betting Analysis: Qatar vs Senegal Group A Matchup
Qatar Betting Preview: Must Bounce Back
The host nation was ready to celebrate on Sunday, for about five minutes. Then Ecuador scored with the goal called back by VAR, but the South Americans kept the pressure up all game long. Qatar didn’t have a good look at goal for most of the game, and they lost 2-0.
The Qataris didn’t officially have a shot on goal against Ecuador though they did manage 47% of the possession. They had one corner kick and five overall shots, but no true goal chances. Goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb looked shaky most of the game, and an ill-timed challenge gave Ecuador a penalty kick.
The second half was a slow-paced game with Ecuador in control. Qatar needs to move forward more and get their attackers a chance at moving into the box with pace. They were unbeaten in their last six games before the World Cup with November wins over Panama and Albania, a September draw against Chile, and an October win over Honduras.
Senegal Betting Preview: Moving Past Mane
Senegal found life without Sadio Mane to be rather difficult in Monday’s opening 2-0 loss to the Netherlands. The game was scoreless after 80 minutes before the Dutch grabbed a pair of late goals for the win. Senegal actually outshot the Netherlands 15-10 with shots on goal at 4-3, but without Mane, they lacked the finishing touch to score goals.
The African Cup of Nations champions do have some firepower but need to find a way to unlock it. Ismaila Sarr has 10 career goals for the national team, and he had a great chance to score in Monday’s opener. Boulaye Dia started alone up top, and Krepin Diatta and Cheikhou Kouyate started in midfield supporting roles.
Edouard Mendy mans the goal for Senegal, and the Chelsea man had no chance on either goal Monday. He has a strong unit in front of him, led by Chelsea teammate Kalidou Koulibaly and captain Idrissa Gueye starts in midfield.
Senegal/Qatar Betting Pick
This is an absolute must-win for both teams as even a draw likely won’t help Qatar as they face Netherlands in the final group game. The way the teams played in the opener, Senegal is a clear favorite, but they still must find a goal scorer. They have a distinct advantage in goal and defense, and while many expected Senegal to advance, that was before Mane went down.
Senegal should still have enough to win this game. Qatar needs to really improve and they do have an extra day, plus the home-field advantage. But the attack looked completely lost against Ecuador, and now they are facing a better overall team and defense in the African champions.
Senegal is the money line favorite at -154, with Qatar at +460 and a draw at +275. Over 2.5 goals is +128, while under 2.5 goals is -150.
PICK: Senegal 2-0 (-154 ML), Under 2.5 goals (-150)