sport news World Cup: England can prey on Senegal's vulnerability from crosses in last-16, ... trends now
Senegal have conceded a goal from a cross in every game they have played at this World Cup. That is surprising for a team who have 6ft 4in Pape Abou Cisse, 6ft 2in Abdou Diallo and 6ft 1in Kalidou Koulibaly in their central defensive ranks.
Against the Netherlands, there was a cross by Frenkie de Jong and a header by Cody Gakpo. That’s one. Against Qatar, Ismaeel Mohammad’s cross was headed in by Mohammed Muntari. That’s two.
Against Ecuador, there was an inswinging corner from Gonzalo Plata, a flick-on by Felix Torres and a tap-in by Moises Caicedo. That’s three.
Senegal have conceded a goal from a cross in all three of their World Cup games so far
Moises Caicedo tapped in from a corner for Ecuador in Senegal's final Group A game
Against England, Phil Foden’s outswinging corner led to a thunderous header from Harry Maguire.
OK, that last one hasn’t happened yet. Call it wishful thinking! But those other three goals show England that Senegal can be vulnerable to balls into the box.
The Ecuador corner will have been studied by England’s army of analysts. Senegal were marking zonally. Their defenders all had their designated areas and yet there was no accountability.
When the ball came in centrally from Plata, nobody moved except for Ecuador’s players. Torres flicked on his header and, thanks to Senegal placing Youssouf Sabaly on the front post and nobody on the back, Caicedo was there to score. Easy.
Senegal defenders were incredibly static for the goal and it was easy for Caicedo to score
England should be using Harry Maguire to target with every corner they win on Sunday
England would love it if Senegal were this naive on Sunday. Maguire is made for winning those headers, especially if the opposition defenders are as static as they were for that Ecuador goal.
Chances are we would see him steamroll in and score, just like he did