Argentina vs Saudi Arabia is the first match of Group C taking place at Lusail Iconic Stadium. It is the same venue where the competition has scheduled to host its final.
Speaking of the match and to start with the favorite, this time Argentina is more than just a popular pick to not just win as many matches as possible but to lift the trophy as well. Considering their recent once-in-a-generation form, their fight against Saudi, for many, doesn’t even come across as that much of a math. Not many calculations are needed to choose a winner here.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, too, is rightly in World Cup-competent form; the Green Falcons didn’t face any defeats in their last seven games. Before the world cup, the middle eastern country also enjoyed a decent form of its own by either thwarting the wins of its continental rivals or ultimately finishing ahead of the region’s traditional heavyweights.
Although Argentina is likely to prevail, let’s look at the pointers to know in detail why the reigning Copa America champion is the more obvious winner.
Argentina Recent Stats
So far Argentina has been enjoying its best run in ages. While they finished behind Brazil in the South American qualifiers for the World Cup 2022, Lionel Scaloni’s team was the most unwavering throughout the world cup selection campaign. They refused to forfeit the game in 17 World Cup qualifying matches. Furthermore, in all those events, Argentina found its defense fail only on eight occasions. Overall Argentina hasn’t seen a single loss in the last 36 games.
More than impressive, their last loss was three years ago in Copa America 2019.
Never has the modern generation seen this side of Argentina in terms of their union. While the team always had a multitude of talents, this time they seem to be syncing with each other almost perfectly. The recent form resembles the spirit of many title winners from the past.
Unmissable of course is the leadership of seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi. The man is a walking threat identically on midfield as well as the front. What makes Argentina’s attack almost invincible is that PSG’s forward is going to be backed by Lautaro Martinez and abundant attacking midfielders like Angel Di Maria, Rodrigo de Paul, Leandro Paredes, and Paulo Dybala.
Goalkeeper Emi Martinez is nearly impossible to beat when he is within the confine of Argentina’s too-stubborn defense.
Experts just have been having it difficult to find any key weaknesses of this Argentinian squad.
Saudi Arabia’s Recent Stats
Saudi Arabia lost their first match after seven matches when it played against Croatia in the practice match before the World Cup. Also, they have not netted more than twice in their last 12 duels.
Saudi Arabia’s Strengths
While far from as good as the Argentinian quality from the flanks, Saudi’s Sultan Al-Ghannam and Yasir Al-Shahrani can still provide competitive creativity and pace from the sides.
Midfield is good for the lower-tier participants of major international tournaments. Winger Al-Dawsari with 62 caps can bring that European-level pace and tactical gameplay from Saudi’s side.
Argentina should be wary about Saudi players particularly in and around the box as they have a habit of doing trickery in it and winning as many set pieces as possible. The Albiceleste should also bear in mind that Saudi finished at the top of their qualifiers group ahead of the World Cup usual participants Japan and Australia.
Sports Mundial Take On Argentina Vs Saudi Arabia
Saudi is by default defensive, also upon which they rely the most – for their match outcomes. So at times or even more, we are bound to see Argentina dominating the possession.
There’s arguably a world of difference in terms of quality between Saudi and Argentinian players. The first goal for Argentina might be difficult given the stubbornness of the Saudi defense. However, once Lionel Messi and his team find that there’s a good chance the La Albiceleste will have Saudi as a means to just increase their goal difference for further advantage. In fact, while they are prone to draw, Argentina is also one of the teams from this world cup more than promising to secure all three points from their group stage.
Against Saudi, Argentina should find the net within the first half itself.
In the event that the two-time world champion went on to concede a goal against Saudi, its title as one of the top three favorites for this world cup will definitely go under reconsideration.
Players To Watch
Argentina: Quite a lot actually, the man of the match performance, however, may also come from, Julian Alvarez (Man City), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Joaquin Correa (Internazionale), Emi Martinez (Ashton Villa), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur), and Rodrigo de Paul (Atletico).
Saudi Arabia: Salem Al Dawsari, Saleh Al Shehri
Argentina’s Recent Form In The Last 10 Games
Argentina 3-0 Saudi Arabia