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Qatar vs Senegal Odds, Pick Prediction | World Cup Group A Preview

Qatar vs Senegal Odds, Pick Prediction | World Cup Group A Preview article feature image

Claudio Villa/Getty. Pictured: Kalidou Koulibaly.

  • Senegal are favored to beat Qatar on Friday at the World Cup.
  • Both teams lost their opener, although Senegal was much more competitive than the hosts.
  • BJ Cunningham breaks down the matchup and delivers his betting pick below.

Qatar vs. Senegal Odds

Friday, Nov. 25
8 a.m. ET
Qatar Odds+450
Senegal Odds-143
Over/Under2.5 (+130 / -163)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(+125 / -175)
Odds via bet365. Get the latest World Cup odds here.

The World Cup nation Qatar take on a Senegal team that is in a win or go home match in Group A.

Qatar were overwhelmed last Sunday, as the host nation was beaten 2-0 by Ecuador. They are now in a position with their final match against the Netherlands where they have to go all in to try and get three points to give them a shot at making it to the knockout stage.

Senegal put in a fantastic performance, but just couldn't finish the job, as the Netherlands scored two late goals to grab all three points. Senegal's tournament is not over by any means. If they get a result here, it will set up a winner take all match against Ecuador. But, they need to secure a result here and hope Ecuador doesn't beat the Netherlands.

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Qatar Looking to Settle Down

I think you can say the moment was a little too big for Qatar on home soil, playing in front of the whole world. However, after they conceded the first two goals, they actually settled into the match pretty nicely and played Ecuador about even.

The final expected goals (xG) tally was 1.0 to 0.50 and Ecuador had a penalty. Qatar even held Ecuador to just three penalty box shots and ended up holding over 47% possession.

Qatar 0 : 2 Ecuador

▪ xG: 0.54 – 1.0
▪ xThreat: 0.76 – 1.2
▪ Possession: 47.3% – 52.7%
▪ Field Tilt: 31.7% – 68.3%
▪ Def Line Height: 41.6 –

— markstats bot (@markstatsbot) November 20, 2022

Qatar are also set up perfectly in this match to sit in a low block, like they've been training to do for six months leading up to this World Cup. You have to remember, this is the most experienced team in this tournament in terms of squad continuity.

The starting XI for Qatar has over 1,000 international caps and each starter is averaging 92 caps, so they have outstanding chemistry and that showed as the match went along against Ecuador. 

Qatar should be very solid in their 5-3-2, clogging up the middle of the pitch and forcing Senegal to beat them with crosses.

Senegal in Must Win Spot

Senegal put in a heroic performance against the Netherlands without their best attacker, Sadio Mane. They actually won the xG battle 0.9 to 0.7, but it was very evident that their attack lacks a quality finisher.

Aliou Cissé set his team up in a 4-3-3, just like he did during the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup Qualifiers, instead of the 4-4-2 they played at the 2018 World Cup. He changed the formation from that 2018 World Cup to be a more aggressive and possession-dominant side against weaker opposition in Africa. 

During the AFCON, Senegal had a good blend of nine build up attacks and 13 direct attacks, showing that they are easily able to sit deep and hit teams on the counter with their speed. Their front three of Boulaye Dia, Ismaïla Sarr, and Krépin Diatta are blazing fast.

Senegal's pressing has also really improved since that 2018 World Cup with their front three having incredibly high work rates off the ball. Senegal led the Africa Cup of Nations forcing 51 high turnovers and was fourth in PPDA at 9.8. 

However, they are going to be asked to control a lot of the possession and to break down Qatar's low block, which is not something they were very successful at doing during the Africa Cup of Nations. They only scored one goal during the group stage and created 3.73 xG against Zimbabwe, Guinea, and Malawi, with Mane.

So, without Mane I have major question marks about their current front three being able to finish against Qatar's compact back five considering Dia, Diatta, and Sarr have only combined for a 0.72 xG per 90 minute scoring rate for their club teams this season.

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Qatar vs. Senegal Pick

The market has completely overreacted to Qatar's performance against Ecuador.

Before the tournament started, Senegal were +105 and now they are all the way up to -160, which is pretty insane given that Senegal put up 0.9 xG in their match against the Netherlands and they are still without their best striker.

I like the host nation on the spread.

The Pick: Qatar +1 (-140) 

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