World Cup 2022, Day 15: Round of 16 knockouts heats up

France take on Poland, followed by a match between England and Senegal – the first time the two countries have faced each other.

The round of 16 knockout stage at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar continues with two more matches scheduled for Sunday, December 4, 2022 – the 15th day of the tournament.

  • France vs Poland (Al Thumama Stadium, 18:00/15:00 GMT)
  • England vs Senegal (Al Bayt Stadium, 22:00/19:00 GMT)

France against Poland

Reigning World Cup champions France, charged and unbeaten in their last seven games against Poland, are expected to sail past the White and Reds into the quarter-finals.

Poland’s formidable defense will try to smother France’s Kylian Mbappé, who needs to score twice against Denmark. Mbappé is now also the only player – other than Pelé – to score seven times at the World Cup before the age of 24.

Robert Lewandowski From Poland Warms Up On The Field.
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski warming up on the pitch before taking on Saudi Arabia at Education City Stadium in Qatar on November 25, 2022 [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

France’s 36-year-old Olivier Giroud, chasing his 52nd international goal to overtake compatriot Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top goalscorer, will also be a major threat for the Poles.

Poland, looking to recover from a 2-0 group defeat to Argentina, will need to rely on captain Robert Lewandowski’s precision and pace if they are to stage a knockout round against Les Bleus.

England against Senegal

England have never lost to an African team, but will that change?

In 21 matches, including seven World Cup matches, the Three Lions have knocked back or drawn with every African team they have played against. And they are highly favored to win Sunday’s game as well – the first between the two countries.

But in a 2022 World Cup marked by some major setbacks, Senegal, entering the knockout round of the tournament for the second time in history, cannot be ruled out.

Senegal, led by talisman Kalidou Koulibaly, recovered to good form after an opening defeat to the Netherlands to go ahead against hosts Qatar and Ecuador, despite the absence of an injured Sadio Mane.

Senegal'S Ismaila Sarr Celebrates Qualifying For The Knockout Stages By Shouting As He Kneels With Arms Raised In Victory.
Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr celebrates qualifying for the knockout stage [Reuters/Dylan Martinez] (

Suspended Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gueye will sit out Sunday’s game after picking up a second yellow card in his team’s thrilling 2-1 win over Ecuador on November 29.

Senegalese coach Aliou Cisse, stricken by illness, will also have to be sidelined on Sunday.

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