What are the key battles to look out for in the Group A encounter


Ecuador and Senegal will go head-to head in a decisive Group A fixture of the 2022 World Cup on Tuesday. La Tri are currently occupying second spot in the group, having collected four points from 2 games, while Senegal are one place behind them with three points to their name. Ecuador have been very impressive in the World Cup thus far, having started the campaign with a convincing 2-0 win over hosts Qatar on the opening day before playing out a thrilling 1-1 draw against Netherlands on matchday two, while the Lions of Teranga recorded a 3-1 win over Qatar in their second match of proceeding following a 2-0 loss to the Dutch in their first fixture. Both sides have got some world class players in their ranks and it will be interesting to have a look at some of the individual battles that will take place at the Khalifa international stadium. 

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Enner Valencia vs Kalidou Koulibaly

Enner Valencia has been one of the standout performers in the Qatar World Cup thus far. The Fenerbahce striker has netted all of Ecuador’s three goals in the tournament thus far. After starting the campaign with a brace against Qatar on the opening day, the 33-year-old scored the equaliser against the Dutch to help his side move to four points from two games. He is an experienced footballer who has got great positional awareness, can shoot with both feet and his pretty good in the air. The former West Ham United-man will be up against Chelsea’s Kalidou Koilibaly on Tuesday. Koulibaly is a world class defender who will definitely give a tough time to Valencia. The 31-year-old big centre-back, who has 64 international caps to his name, will need to be at his best to get the better of an in-form Ecuador attack. 

Pervis Estupinan vs Ismail Sarr

Ecuador’s left-wing-back Pervis Estupinan had an impressive game against Holland on Friday and played a pivotal role in the equaliser scored by his captain. The Brighton & Hove Albion footballer is very quick and is capable of taking on defenders. In the last outing, the 24-year-old did a fine job to keep a check of Dutch right-wing-back Denzel Dumfries, while also making ample contributions going forward. On Tuesday, he will be up against Senegal winger  Ismail Sarr, who is having a very good tournament. The 24-year-old gave Qatar wing-back Homam Ahmed a hard time in the last match. It’s definitely going to a fiery battle when the two pacey wingers come up against each other. 

Moises Caicedo vs Idrissa Gueye

Bright midfielder Caicedo is the backbone of this Ecuador side. The 21-year-old will pull the strings in the midfield for the La Tri , while also providing cover to the back-four. There have been rumours about Manchester United being interested in the youngster and he is certainly one for the future. Caicedo, who made his international debut in 2020, has already made 27 appearances for the national side and would definitely play a key role if the South American outfit are to go through to the knockout stages. Caicedo will battle it out against Everton’s Idrissa Gueye to take control of the midfield. The 33-year-old former Paris Saint-Germain player has made 95 appearances for the Lions of Teranga, scoring seven times. Senegal will need to secure all three points on Tuesday to book a place in the round of 16 and Gueye’s experience might prove to be crucial.

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