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England fans in Doha warm up for World Cup clash as Senegal sing their own version of It’s Coming Home

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The Three Lions fans are preparing for their crucial World Cup clash against the Teranga Lions, the nickname of Senegal’s football team, insisting that finally “it’s coming home”.

Around 7,000 English football fans are expected in Doha for Sunday night’s clash at Al Bayt Stadium, with tickets trading on the black market for up to £1,000.

England fans began congregating early in bars in four- and five-star hotels in Doha as they knocked down pints ahead of the final knockout clash, while others poured into shopping malls across the city for shopping – and for enjoying the air conditioning.

Tim Reed, 63, from Ipswich, Suffolk, said: “We’re going to win 2-1. I’m really looking forward to the game and I’m very excited about it.

England fans in the souk area of ​​Doha today ahead of the FIFA World Cup round of 16 match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar

England fan Tim Reed, from Ipswich, Suffolk, said ahead of today's clash with Senegal in Qatar he believed England would win 2-1

England fan Tim Reed, from Ipswich, Suffolk, said ahead of today’s clash with Senegal in Qatar he believed England would win 2-1

England fans visit the souk area of ​​Doha, ahead of the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, tonight

England fans visit the souk area of ​​Doha, ahead of the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, tonight

“The only problem is that I’m supposed to go home after the game, so if England reach the quarter-finals I might have to go home.” It’s been a fantastic tournament so far and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Kevin Cassidy, 43, of Leeds said: “I follow England all over the world and we finally look like a team that can win something.” We got closer recently but this time I think we will.

“My prediction is a 2-1 win. But whatever happens, it was a fantastic experience to be in Qatar. I loved every minute of it.

His friend Darren Sutcliffe, 55, also from Leeds, added: “I don’t feel as confident as some of the other England supporters, but I think we will win on penalties.

“There won’t be as many English fans on the pitch as there normally are in big games, so it’s going to be a bit strange.” But I pray it’s a good night.

Among the fans were Molly Burns and her mother Nikki. But there is a family division ahead of tonight’s big game.

Mother Nikki (right) and daughter Nikki (left) are seen in the fan zone.  Molly is supporting England tonight while her mum Nikki is married to one of the host country's Qatar coaches

Mother Nikki (right) and daughter Nikki (left) are seen in the fan zone. Molly is supporting England tonight while her mum Nikki is married to one of the host country’s Qatar coaches

England supporters are seen in the souk area of ​​Doha, ahead of the FIFA World Cup round of 16 match at Al-Bayt stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, December 4, 2022

England supporters are seen in the souk area of ​​Doha, ahead of the FIFA World Cup round of 16 match at Al-Bayt stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, December 4, 2022

Molly, 21, from Leeds, supports England, while her mum has given up football as she is married to one of the Qatar national team coaches.

The host country was eliminated in the group stage.

Ms Burns said: “Happy husband, happy family, happy football. I support Qatar.

“It’s a shame that Qatar got knocked out, but it’s a beautiful tournament that’s going very well.’

Molly added: ‘I think England will win. Harry Kane will score his first goal and we will go to the final.

“The team is progressing slowly, while there has been so much about countries like Brazil, Argentina, France.

“It could be our World Cup if we keep playing and focusing.”

Senegalese fans prepared for the game by performing traditional dances in central Doha and singing their own version of It’s Coming Home.

Dozens of supporters of the West African country staged a Sanbar dance, which is performed for good luck before major events.

Antonia Seck, 26, from Dakar, said: “We prepare for the big game the same way we prepare for a wedding or any other celebration. It’s because after the game against England, we will celebrate.

Her friend Georgia Diop, 28, added: “We love to dance and sing in Senegal. It will be a great game and we will win.

England will face Senegal on Sunday night in a knockout round tie.

Around 3,000 Senegalese fans are expected to attend the game and are likely to outnumber their English rivals.

England fans visit the souk area of ​​Doha, ahead of the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, tonight

England fans visit the souk area of ​​Doha, ahead of the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, tonight

An English thobe, a type of Arabic dress, is on sale in a shop in the souk district of Doha, ahead of the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar tonight

An English thobe, a type of Arabic dress, is on sale in a shop in the souk district of Doha, ahead of the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar tonight

Before the game, they sang the team anthem in their native Wolof language, which boasts that “Senegal is the champion” and that “the trophy goes to Senegal”.

Cheikh Diop, a Senegal fan who admitted he also follows English Premier League football closely, said: “We have our version of It’s Coming Home. But I can tell you he is definitely coming back to Africa. from West.

‘It’s our song for the team. We are very confident for this game. Senegal is embarking on a great adventure and the world is about to see what a great football team we are.

Souleymane Diallo, 38, football coach from Dakar, said: “I know quite a few players and I spoke to them on the phone. They feel very confident about this game. The atmosphere among the boys is very positive.

His friend Doudou Mane, 32, added: “We won’t have many fans in the stadium but we will make the most noise.” Senegal will be victorious.

“We have a fantastic team and very passionate fans. We are not many here but all of Senegal is with us.

He added: “My prediction is that Senegal will win 3-1.”

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