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2022 World Cup: Mane will be a big miss but Netherlands will not change mindset against Senegal - Ake

5:50 PM SGT 19/11/22
Nathan Ake and Sadio Mane.
Netherlands defender Nathan Ake has admitted players like Sadio Mane are what the World Cup needs after he was ruled out for Senegal.
  • Senegal will be at World Cup without Mane
  • Ake cites winger's absence as a big miss
  • Senegal to face Ake's Netherlands in opener

WHAT HAPPENED? The Lions of Teranga will be without the 30-year-old Mane after he was ruled out of the tournament owing to an injury. His absence in Qatar has caught the attention of Ake, who features for Premier League outfit Manchester City.

WHAT HE SAID: "Not only him, but all of the injuries are a negative for the World Cup," Ake told Fifa Plus TV. adding: "The World Cup is for these kinds of players. I think everyone wants to see these kinds of players in the tournament. So it's not a good thing.

"It's never a nice thing to see when someone gets injured, so he will be a big miss for the tournament. But will still go into the game against Senegal with the same mindset, even though he's not there, but we have to perform, because it's still going to be a tough match."

WHAT IS MORE? The 27-year-old Ake, is, however, predicting a difficult outing for Netherlands when they come up against Senegal despite Mane's absence.

"I still think it's going to be a very tough game. They have a lot of well-known players and their strike force is very powerful. Obviously Mane isn't going to be there, but still they have very good players," he added.

"From now on, we're going to analyse them and see how we're going to play against them. So for sure it will be a very tough game."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The African champions, who are in Group A, will face Netherlands in their opening match at Al Thumama Stadium on Monday.

Senegal will be the first African team to take to the pitch. Africa's other representatives are Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco and Tunisia.

WHAT NEXT FOR SENEGAL?: After taking on Netherlands, they will return to face hosts Qatar at Al Thumama Stadium on November 25 before they wind up their group matches against Ecuador at Khalifa International Stadium on November 29.