Senegal Can Get Through Gauntlet Group H

Jun 06, 2018 1:55 AM EDT

The Odds

  • To win the World Cup: +21500
  • To win Group A: +500
  • To advance to Round of 16: +125

Bet To Watch

Senegal to advance from Group H +125 (5Dimes)

Most non-European and South American teams don’t stack up in terms depth and talent, but Senegal are one of a few teams outside of the “traditional soccer powers” with dynamic players in important areas on the pitch. The key to winning in most major tournaments is having a strong spine and that starts with the defense.

Kalidou Koulibaly leads the Lions of Teranga from the back. The 26-year-old centerback is battle-tested, having played several big matches across Europe for Napoli. He was a rock for the Serie A side all season and chipped in offensively with five goals.

Senegal also has a notable midfield presence with Idrissa Gana Gueye and Cheikhou Kouyate. The two Premier League stalwarts are capable of occupying a great deal of space in the defensive midfield, and their defensive prowess allows the players ahead of them more freedom in attack.

Senegal’s biggest X-factor is Liverpool star Sadio Mane. The 26-year-old forward enjoyed a breakout season with Liverpool and chipped in a goal in the Champions League Final. Mane’s unrivaled speed gives the Senegalese the ability to counter at a moment’s notice.

Senegal has enough talent to cause problems in a tough group. The Lions of Teranga drew Japan, Colombia and Poland in Round 1, and it figures to be the most up-in-the-air set in the competition. I think Senegal has a very solid chance of winning the group at +425, but for a safer option, I’d roll with them to advance out of the group at +125.


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