Preview: Argentina vs. Mexico – Prediction, Team News, Lineups

Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Mexico, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With them World Cup hopes already on the line, Argentina try to overcome their disaster in the opening game on Saturday, as they take on rivals from Group C Mexico.

While the Albiceleste began their quest for a third world crown by losing to outsiders Saudi Arabia, their Central American counterparts survived a scare on Tuesday to draw with Poland.

Match preview


Since losing to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America, Argentina had embarked on a national record 36 games unbeaten run, and as the reigning South American champions, was at least among most pundits’ favorites for the final four.

Yet all that momentum counted for little on the first day of their World Cup campaign, like Lionel Scaloni‘s side let an early advantage slip from their hands in the space of six minutes into the second half at Lusail Stadium.

By leading Lionel Messi‘s opener from the penalty spot, the Albiceleste appeared to have things under control at half-time after seeing three other goals disallowed for offside. However, two strikes from Saudi Arabia shortly after the break turned the game upside down and the Group C underdogs held on to a result that will reverberate through the ages.

With the last of their global triumphs coming back in the summer of 1986, Argentina were already under pressure to deliver a first World Cup trophy in nearly 40 years – especially in what will become Messi’s swan song on the sport’s biggest stage.

That is why Scaloni must quickly assemble his troops before they take on the country that hosted their last success at this level: a Mexican squad that is one point above Argentina in the standings.

Having beaten El Tri in the inaugural edition of the World Cup in 1930, the Argentines have most recently knocked out their Latin American rivals twice in the last 16, and they also remain undefeated in the country’s last 10 encounters, dating back to 2004 .

This all plays to their advantage if precedent is any guide, but the world will now watch with anticipation as they react to their seismic shock against the Saudis.

Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa celebrates after saving a penalty from Poland's Robert Lewandowski, pictured on November 22, 2022©Reuters

One of many goalless stalemates in the opening week of Qatar 2022, a 0-0 draw with Poland on Tuesday ensured a relatively stable start to the Mexican tournament. Tatja Martinomen eventually.

After Hector Moreno was deemed to have been struck Robert Lewandowski in the penalty area, the Polish marksman, as an experienced goalkeeper, failed to convert his golden opportunity from the penalty spot Guillermo Ochoa delivered a crucial save.

That result sets up a potentially crucial encounter in terms of Group C qualification this weekend as El Tri look to reach the knockout stages once again.

The Mexicans are now making their eighth consecutive World Cup appearance and have been knocked out in each of their last seven attempts at the last 16 stages. quarterfinals.

La Seleccion last reached that point of the competition as hosts in 1986, when Saturday’s opponents lifted the trophy thanks to a Diego Maradona master class on Mexican soil.

However, before this year’s side can dream of such a performance, they may need to secure at least a second point in Lusail or else their hopes of progress will be hanging by a thread.

Form World Cup Argentina:

Form Argentina (all competitions):

Mexico World Cup form:

Mexico form (all competitions):

Team news

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni pictured on Nov. 22, 2022©Reuters

While Argentina’s talisman Lionel Messi trained away from the rest of his teammates on Thursday, the 35-year-old playmaker is expected to play from the start this weekend, sparing Lionel Scaloni a serious squad headache.

The Albiceleste captain’s left leg is his main concern, but it seems unlikely that Papu Gomez will be asked to come on as a replacement on Saturday. Therefore, Messi should also head an attacking trident lautaro martinez and Angel DiMaria.

After starting on the bench in the loss to Saudi Arabia after a fitness issue, Lisandro Martinez could come for both Christian Romero or Nicholas Otamendi as part of Scaloni’s back four. Gonzalo Montiel and Alexis MacAllister are also confused.

Meanwhile forward Angel Cora and Paulo Dybala – the latter only just back from injury – are among several team members hoping to play their first minutes of the final.

Another striker has recently returned to fitness, that of Mexico Raul Jimenez, will aim for promotion to the starting eleven. The Wolverhampton Wanderers star made his first appearance in nearly three months in El Tri’s final friendly game, playing from the bench on Tuesday.

However, Tata Martino may turn to Henry Martin again instead Hirving Lozano and Alex Vega support from the flanks.

from Pachuca Louis Chavez – who played no part in the CONCACAF qualifiers but has worked his way into the team during recent friendlies – should continue on the left side of a midfield trio in Martino’s 4-3-3 formation, while Ajax defender Jorge Sanchez starts at right back.

Argentina possible starting line-up:
E. Martinez; Montiel, Romero, Li. Martinez, Tagliafico; DePaul, Paredes, MacAllister; Messi, La. Martinez, Di Maria

Mexico possible starting line-up:
ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Moreno, Gallardo; Alvarez, Herrera, Chavez; Lozano, Martin, Vega

SM words green background

We say: Argentina 2-1 Mexico

The last time Argentina was defeated in their first World Cup match was in 1990, when Maradona finally led his side to the final. Facing both the anticipation of a football-mad nation and a transition team in Mexico, Messi-led Albiceleste can now secure a crucial first win of the 2022 edition – but it won’t prove to be an easy procedure.

Click here for data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match.

Top tip

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