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World Cup: England's record against African opponents

England will take on Senegal in the last 16 of the World Cup on Sunday in what will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides, but the Three Lions do boast an impressive record when facing other African opponents.

In 20 previous meetings with nations from that continent England are unbeaten, with seven of those head-to-heads coming at World Cup finals. 

That is a statistic that will give England supporters plenty of confidence heading into Sunday's knockout clash, Gareth Southgate's side are 8/15 Full Time Result, while the draw is 11/4 and a famous Senegal victory can be backed at 13/2. 

We have taken a look at England's previous meetings with African opposition at the World Cup, as we build up towards Sunday's big clash with Senegal at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

What: England v Senegal 
Where: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor 
When: 19:00, Sunday 4th December 
How to watch: ITV1 
Odds: England 8/15, Draw 11/4, Senegal 13/2

Morocco stalemate in Mexico

England's first World Cup meeting with African opposition came in their second match at the 1986 finals in Mexico when they took on Morocco.

The pressure was on Sir Bobby Robson's side heading into that contest, as they had lost their Group F opener to Portugal, but things did not get much better against the Atlas Lions, as they were held to a rather dour goalless draw.

The match is best remembered for Ray Wilkins becoming the first-ever England player to be sent off at a World Cup for throwing the ball at referee Gabriel Gonzalez.

That result left England facing an uphill battle to qualify, but a 3-0 victory over Poland in their final fixture was enough to see the Three Lions advance in second place, behind Morocco.

Italia 90 brings memorable clash

The only World Cup to date where England have faced two African opponents was on their way to the semi-finals of Italia 90.

After drawing their opening two games at those finals with the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands, England needed a result in their final group match against Egypt, and a second-half header from Mark Wright was enough to seal a 1-0 win to send Robson's side through as group winners.

A win over Belgium followed in the last 16 and set England up for a quarter-final clash with Cameroon in what is without a doubt the Three Lions' most famous meeting with African opposition.

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Cameroon were the first African side to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup and England were heavy favourites to progress, but the current Three Lions side should heed this warning, as Robson's side trailed 2-1 heading into the final 10 minutes and had to rely on a Gary Lineker penalty to take the game to extra-time.

Lineker converted another penalty in extra-time to send England through to the last four for their infamous clash with Germany, but they were made to work hard for their victory.

Southgate's England will be hoping, unlike the class of 1990, that they don't need extra-time, but the Three Lions can be backed at 9/1 to get the better of Senegal after an additional 30 minutes.

Recent clashes not so dramatic

The 3-2 victory over Cameroon is the standout fixture between England and African sides at the World Cup, with the meetings since that clash in Naples proving far less memorable.

England beat Tunisia 2-0 in their opening match at the 1998 World Cup, a fixture best remembered for David Beckham's exclusion from the starting XI, while their final group game at the 2002 finals saw the Three Lions play out a drab goalless draw with Nigeria.

Speaking of goalless draws, there was the infamous 0-0 between England and Algeria at the 2010 tournament, a match that saw England booed off and led to criticism of his own supporters from Wayne Rooney.

Goalless draws have certainly been a theme of England's clashes with African opposition at the World Cup, with three of the seven meetings ending 0-0.

A repeat of that scoreline in the Full-Time Result market against Senegal is available at 13/2.

Tunisia win the catalyst to positive future

England's most recent meeting with African opposition at the World Cup came at the 2018 tournament when they once again opened their campaign against Tunisia.

After underwhelming at the 2014 finals and at Euro 2016, expectation was low amongst supporters beforehand with those predictions appearing justified as England were seemingly limping towards a 1-1 draw against the Eagles of Carthage.

However, a 91st-minute strike from Harry Kane saved the team's blushes and you can argue acted as a catalyst to England's campaign in Russia, as they made it all the way to the semi-finals - their best showing at a World Cup since 1990.

England will be hoping a victory over Senegal can help spark another extended World Cup run in Qatar and, as we've seen, history suggests they should get the better of the Lions of Teranga.

The Three Lions are 1/4 To Qualify and if they do make it through then they will face either France or Poland at the Al Bayt Stadium in the last eight on 10th December.

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