- 0.1 Both teams find themselves at the bottom half of Group C after the first round.
- 0.2 Kick-off: 12:30 am (IST), 7 pm (GMT)
- 0.3 Argentina form (all comps): WWWWL
- 0.4 Mexico form (all comps): WLWLD
- 0.5 Players to watch
- 0.6 Injury & Team News
- 0.7 Head-to-Head Stats
- 0.8 Predicted lineup
- 0.9 Prediction
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Coming into this World Cup on the back of a 36-game unbeaten run, a likely defeat did not linger in Argentina fans’ thoughts once. But Saudi Arabia, ranked 51 in FIFA, found the net a second time and one of the tournament favourites went into tunnel chin down after the final whistle. Shortly after, Saudi Arabia’s King declared a national holiday for their win against one of the heavyweights.
Argentina must now erase that bitter humiliation, which has now been engraved in FIFA World Cup history books, and resurrect themselves for the Mexico clash.
Mexico had to settle for a draw against Poland thanks to Ochoa’s spectacular penalty save. Like their South American opponent, El Tri will also be determined to win.
Kick-off: 12:30 am (IST), 7 pm (GMT)
Argentina form (all comps): WWWWL
Mexico form (all comps): WLWLD
Players to watch
Messi thrives in these situations and always delivers when the burden is on. He is still at the prime of his game, capable of taking on 3-4 defenders. The Argentina talisman has the effectiveness to transition the course of a game, and he will be ready to do so against Mexico.
Despite playing in very few games owing to injuries, Jimenez should start against Argentina. He came on as a substitute against Poland. However, he should be in the starting lineup. Jimenez has established himself as a top striker and is one of the most dangerous players in the opposing box. The Wolves player can carry the game forward, and Mexico will count on him against Argentina.
Injury & Team News
Lionel Messi trained separately after experiencing soreness in his left leg, but almost certainly start. Christian Romero was substituted against Saudi Arabia, due to a lack of proper fitness. Lisandro Martinez is expected to start in place of either Otamendi or Romero. Enzo Fernandez and Gonzalo Montiel are also likely to start against Mexico.
Jimenez, who has returned from injury, will look to make his first start at this World Cup against Argentina. Mexico has no injury concerns, and Tata Martino will field a strong team.
Argentina (4-3-3): E Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Paredes; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez; La Martinez.
Mexico (4-3-3): Ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Moreno, Gallardo; Chavez, E Alvarez, Herrera; Lozano, Jimenez, Vega.
This is when a team must work collectively, and each player should contribute their utmost. Argentina’s players will need to strive for victory. The South Americans may appear solid on paper, but this is a World Cup and anything can happen.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s players must perform well in this encounter as they contend for first place. They can pose issues for Argentina, but they won’t be able to rein in Martinez, Messi, and Di Maria for a wide range.
Prediction: Argentina 2-0 Mexico