Senegal take on Netherlands in Group A of the 2022 World Cup on Monday.
The match will kick off at 4pm GMT in Al Thumama, Qatar, exactly 24 hours after the hosts’ opening match begins against Ecuador on Sunday.
Senegal have suffered a major blow before the World Cup has even begun, with Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane ruled out of the tournament due to a fibula injury, which he sustained against Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga earlier this month.
Head coach Aliou Cisse had hoped that the issue would only prevent his star man from playing in the Lions of Teranga’s first match or two, but Cisse will now have to adjust his tactical blueprint to deal with the absence of the former Liverpool man.
Mane, who scored two winning penalties against Egypt to seal Senegal’s first ever Africa Cup of Nations triumph as well as cement their place in Qatar earlier this year, clearly leaves a major hole to fill in attack, with only Ismaila Sarr and Famara Diedhiou in double figures for goals scored (10 apiece) for their national team.
However, Cisse’s side are generally tough to break down, with six clean sheets in their last eight competitive matches proving to be the bedrock of their recent AFCON success and qualification for the World Cup.
The 46-year-old will almost certainly be looking for his players to keep things tight against Netherlands, before going into more winnable fixtures against Qatar and Ecuador as they look to reach the knockout stages for only the second time in their history.