England face ‘very dangerous team’ in Senegal, says Gareth Southgate


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    Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly booked Senegal’s place in the last 16 (Picture: Getty Images)

    Gareth Southgate admits he hasn’t seen Senegal in action at the World Cup yet, but has seen England’s next opponents in the recent past and reckons they are a ‘very dangerous team’.

    England topped Group B of the World Cup on Tuesday night thanks to a 3-0 win over Wales, while Senegal secured second place in Group A earlier in the day with a 2-1 win over Ecuador.

    Southgate has plenty of research to do before the game on Sunday evening, but did watch the Lions of Teranga draw with Iran in September, and believes they will bring a substantial threat.

    ‘I haven’t been able to see their games in the tournament, I saw them play Iran in Vienna in September, so I had a good look at them then,’ said Southgate.

    ‘From now, from when we get on the coach we’ll be studying the games now to prepare for the game.

    ‘We obviously know quite a few of the individuals. Some big players playing in big leagues across Europe, some playing in England.

    ‘We know that on the rankings we’ll be the favourites, we’ve got to deal with that, but we play a very dangerous team.’

    On his own team, the England boss sounded delighted with the state of mind within his squad, acknowledging that expectations are far higher than when he took over, but feeling that the Three Lions are well placed to fulfil that expectation.

    ‘Compared to Russia there’s a different mentality across the whole group, there’s more belief,’ he said. ‘Our objectives are different, in Russia we were just thinking about whether we could win a knockout game.

    ‘There’s more expectation now, but more confidence and more experience of big matches.

    Morale is high again in the England camp after the convincing win over Wales (Picture: Getty Images)

    ‘I don’t now if we’re ahead of where we were last summer, but definitely we’re pleased that the objectives we set out to do, the first objective is achieved.

    ‘The spirit of the team is good, we’ve got most of the group on the pitch which is fabulous for the dynamic of the group, and no yellow cards as well which is a really good position for us.’

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