WORLD CUP PREVIEW

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

WORLD CUP PREVIEW Sat: Argentina v Mexico

Argentina went off second favourites for World Cup glory but they are already fighting to stay in the tournament after their shock opening defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and they could be in for a nervous night against Mexico.

The Albiceste, previously unbeaten in 35 games, looked to be in cruise control when Lionel Messi put them ahead from the penalty spot in the tenth minute, and they dominated for the rest of the first half as Saudi Arabia were picked off with three goals being disallowed.

However, Herve Renard’s men pulled off their high-line to perfection, and three minutes into the second half Saleh Al-Shehri found a yard of space on Cristian Romero to flash a low shot into the bottom corner, and then Salem Al-Dawsari scored a stunning solo goal to complete the comeback.

Argentina were rattled by the extremely effective press of the Saudis, the home crowd, the fierce determination of the Saudi defenders and the goalkeeping exploits of Mohammed Al Owai.

Argentina must pick themselves up quickly for what is effectively a knockout game, and they need transformed performances from Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo de Paul, and Alejandro Gomez who failed to deliver in the second half when they attempted to chase the game.

Argentina v Mexico
FIFA World Cup 2022 Group C
19:00 ITV1 / STV / ITVX / STV Player

LAST FIVE STATS

HEAD-TO-HEAD
SEP 2019 FRIENDLY Argentina 4-0 Mexico
NOV 2018 FRIENDLY Argentina 2-0 Mexico
NOV 2018 FRIENDLY Argentina 2-0 Mexico
SEP 2015 FRIENDLY Mexico 2-2 Argentina
JUN 2010 WORLD CUP Argentina 3-1 Mexico

ARGENTINA
JUN 2022 FRIENDLY Argentina 5-0 Estonia
SEP 2022 FRIENDLY Argentina 3-0 Honduras
SEP 2022 FRIENDLY Argentina 3-0 Jamaica
NOV 2022 FRIENDLY UAE 5-0 Argentina
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia

MEXICO
NOV 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Mexico 4-0 Iran
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Mexico 2-3 Colombia
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Mexico 1-0 Peru
SEP 2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY Mexico 0-1 Paraguay
NOV 2022 WORLD CUP Mexico 0-0 Poland

Mexico’s opening draw with Poland didn’t have a whole lot of chances apart from Robert Lewandowski’s missed penalty, although Gerardo Martino’s side created the better openings – even when Poland began to press the ball in the second half – and they would have been very hard done by to lose their opener.

Hirving Lozano was a constant threat whilst there was enough from Alexis Vega (certainly in the first half) to suggest Mexico could threaten Argentina defensively at least, and midfielders Edson Alvarez, Hector Herrera and Luis Chavez impressed with their control of the midfield there.

Argentina are better than they showed on Tuesday, but a price of 4/7 to win in 90 minutes makes little appeal. Mexico struggled to create really clear-cut chances against Poland but they were the better side for the majority of the contest and can challenge the Argentine midfield and defence, especially through Alexis Vega and Hirving Lozano’s runs.

Mexico will be given a much harder attacking test by Argentina – Poland failed to get the best from their attacking players – but they can be competitive here on the evidence of Tuesday’s games, with Argentina unsettled by a high press and a fanatical crowd. Take 4/5 about Mexico with a one goal start on the Asian Handicap, which means that all bets win unless Argentina win by two or more goals.

WILLIAM KEDJANYI


RECOMMENDED BETS

BACK Mexico +1 on Asian Handicap 2pts at 4/5 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (WORLD CUP 2022): LOSS 17.18 points (after matches on Fri 25 Nov)
(Will include returns from both the OUTRIGHT and SPECIALS previews too)


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