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‘Our players are best in Africa’: Senegal warning ahead of England World Cup tie

Senegal fans in the Souq Waqif area of Doha (Peter Byrne/PA)
Senegal fans in the Souq Waqif area of Doha (Peter Byrne/PA)

England have been warned they will come up against the “best in Africa” in their World Cup clash with Senegal.

Fans from the west African nation have been creating a party atmosphere in Qatar by dancing, singing and drumming throughout.

The reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions are missing former Liverpool ace Sadio Mane through injury.

But the Lions of Teranga still have a number of top players in their ranks, including Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, his Blues teammate Kalidou Koulibaly and Watford winger Ismaila Sarr.

Supporter Maurice Diatta, 26, from Senegal, told the PA news agency: “I hope Senegal will win because the players we have are the best in Africa.

“I know England have good players and a good team, and it will be a wonderful match, but I hope Senegal win.”

Senegal’s stadium hype man Boubacar Diallo, also known as DJ Boubs, has been tipped as one to watch at the second-round game to be held at the Al Bayt Stadium, in Al Khor, north of Doha.

World Cup stadium DJ Tony Perry said each football association has been allowed to bring over their own announcer to Qatar.

He told PA: “Boubacar from Senegal, who is going to be at the game on Sunday, he may as well be the president of Senegal.

“He’s a god. All the fans are taking pictures with him, he’s such a lovely guy. He dances, he sings, he really gets the crowd going.”

Mr Diallo, writing on Twitter, declared Senegal to be “one of the great teams in the world today”.

DJ Mr Perry, 36, from London, said of England’s World Cup chances: “You are getting carried away with a 3-0 win against Wales maybe, but I am starting to feel if we do get past Senegal and face France, I fancy our chances in this tournament – I half do.”

Former Liverpool and Bolton striker El Hadji Diouf has already insisted Senegal will fear none of the England players they face in the last 16 tie.

The 41-year-old has an advisory and ambassadorial role with Senegal, having been a member of the squad that reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup.

Several thousand England fans will be in the stands for the first knockout game, with others considering flying out if the Three Lions progress.

Online travel search engine Kayak said the day after England’s second-round match was confirmed there was an 84% increase in searches for flights from the UK to Doha compared with a week earlier.

The figures relate to flights departing between December 1 and the day of the final on December 18.