Confident England fans expecting ‘easy’ win ahead of Senegal knockout game

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England fans are confident of an “easy” win against Senegal in their first knockout game in the World Cup.

Supporters in Qatar’s capital city Doha were in a relaxed mood on Sunday morning ahead of the round-of-16 tie, with some already looking ahead to a potential quarter-final clash with France.

Senegalese fans based in England have spoken of conflicting family allegiances ahead of the game, with one fan joking his son “might not have supper, depending on the result”.

At the Cabana Hop Garden in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Doha, some England supporters said their side should have “too much” for the African nation, with one adding: “I don’t think there’s anyone to fear”.

England v Senegal – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Round of 16 – Al Bayt Stadium
England fans Hayden Smith and Joe Parker, from Essex, at the Cabana Hop Garden in Doha, ahead of kick-off (Nick Potts/PA)

Joe Parker, 26, also from Essex, who was enjoying a drink with Mr Smith ahead of the match, was more cautious, saying: “He thinks 4-0 but I think it’ll go to penalties… I’d be very nervous at that point.”

Spurs fan Mr Smith added: “(Harry) Kane hat-trick, watch, he’ll score tonight – everyone is slagging him off but he’s going to get a goal tonight – easy 3-0, 4-0.”

England v Senegal – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Round of 16 – Al Bayt Stadium
England fans with a Stockport County flag, in the Souk area of Doha (Adam Davy/PA)

“If we don’t beat them we don’t deserve to go through – what chance have we got against France if we struggle tonight?”

On England’s chances for the rest of the World Cup, the pair both said “I think we’re going to win it”.

England v Senegal – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Round of 16 – Al Bayt Stadium
England fans Tom Egerton (left) and Tom King (right), at the Cabana Hop Garden in Doha (Nick Potts/PA)

Flags from Carlisle to Plymouth and beyond were draped around the venue with a big screen and music playing, including Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and Rockin’ All Over the World by Status Quo.

Mr Egerton, who works in property, told the PA news agency: “Hopefully Southgate plays positive today and it should be a good game.

“I reckon it’s going to be 2-1 (to England).”

Asked about their outfits, the pair said they had been inspired to wear the robes and headdresses after seeing other fans wear them at the Wales game.

Adam Close, 29, from Newcastle, and Ben Fox, 29, from Leeds, have been in Qatar for a week staying in a fan village and will return home after the Senegal game but consider returning if England reach the World Cup semi-finals.

The pair both predicted an England win, with tech sales worker Mr Close telling PA: “It’s not going to be a walk in the park but we should have too much for them.

England v Senegal – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Round of 16 – Al Bayt Stadium
England fans Ian Fox (left) and Adam Close (right), ahead of kick-off (Nick Potts/PA)

“You saw it a bit against Wales when you don’t get a goal, we held possession enough but the fans start getting a bit lairy, they’re not moving it as quickly as you’d like so get a goal in that first 10-15 minutes I think will be good.”

Mr Fox, who works in recruitment, said of England’s World Cup hopes: “All the way, I don’t think there’s anyone to fear.”

On the pair’s travel plans, Mr Close said: “If we beat Senegal, beat France and I think that’s where we’ll be looking at tickets back out for the semis and final.”

Laughing, he added: “If we beat France we’re probably going to be a shoo-in.”

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