This Tuesday, it is the turn of group C of Argentina and A of France to enter their World Cup. Ranked among the favorite teams, the Albiceleste led by Lionel Messi will open the ball at 11 am and will be tested against Saudi Arabia led by French coach Hervé Renard. More balanced, the other match in Group C, Mexico – Poland (5 pm) is promising.
Moreover, while waiting for France – Australia (8 pm), Denmark – Tunisia (2 pm) will certainly be rich in lessons for the rest of group A. Find the complete program for Tuesday 22 November. Times are given in French time.
11 am: Argentina v Saudi Arabia (beIN Sports)
2 pm: Denmark – Tunisia (beIN Sports)
5 pm: Mexico v Poland (beIN Sports)
8 pm: France – Australia (TF1, beIN Sports)
The sentence: “Nothing to worry about”
Didier Deschamps tried to relieve the pressure in his first match for the Blues, against Australia. Despite the recent departure of Ballon d’Or Karim Benzema, and the absence of a manager like Paul Pogba, the Blues coach is not afraid of running out of leaders for this first match. “There are always executives who are there, who have this ability to express themselves, but the leadership is not only in words. There are still enough players made to stimulate in the locker room, in the pre-match warm-up , also internally through discussions,” assured Deschamps in a press conference on Monday.
“There are more experienced players than others, but the group is in a hurry, insists “DD”. There is nothing to worry about. We have done everything to make sure that the whole group is at its best for this first match which cannot be decided but very important. The first game in a competition is always very important, no need to be upset or anything.”. Let’s meet at 8 pm this Tuesday night against Australia to find out whether we will be shaking or not.
Big game: Argentina v Saudi Arabia
After England and the Netherlands on Monday, Argentina, another strong contender for final victory, take on Saudi Arabia, the most modest opponent in Group C, for its first match. Of course, most eyes will be on Lionel Messi, whose 35-year-old is probably the last World Cup. After the disappointment in the round of 16 in the 2018 Russian World Cup (eliminated 4-3 by France), Argentina delivers serious guarantees for the 2022 edition.
Led by coach Lionel Scaloni, the Albiceleste have not lost a single match since July 2019 (24 wins, 11 draws) and won last year’s Copa America. Moreover, Messi’s excellent start to the season with PSG suggests that Argentina could go very far in the tournament. The seven-time Ballon d’Or also relies on experienced and high-quality players such as Di Maria, Tagliafico or Paredes, who are well known to football followers in France.
For its part, the Saudi selection cannot claim to topple the South American giant. But the team led by the Frenchman Hervé Renard since 2019 does not appear as a victim. It actually finished 1st in its qualifying group, ahead of Japan and Australia, suffering only one loss. Arriving in neighboring Qatar and consisting only of players from the Saudi championship, Saudi Arabia will probably benefit from a clear adaptation to the environment and conditions of the Qatari World Cup.
Player to watch: Christian Eriksen
After suffering a heart attack that nearly cost him his life in the inaugural match of the Euros in the summer of 2021, the Danish midfielder, 30, is once again in the rendezvous of a major tournament and will hit the track ahead of Tunisia on Tuesday. After the installation of a defibrillator, which forced him to terminate his contract with Inter Milan (due to Italian regulations for this type of device), he played again in March 2022 and removed all doubts about in his skills. “I think one of the first conversations I had with the doctors in Amsterdam (where he was seen) was about my goal to play in the World Cup if everything goes well. That was my dream then,” Eriksen said.
Accepted by Brentford, he worked hard to keep the club in the Premier League last season, before being hired by Manchester United, where he is enjoying a more distant position than in the past. “How far do we want to go? We are dreaming of something big,” said Qatar Eriksen whose team drew 0-0 against France in the group stage in Russia and was eliminated by Croatia 1/8 2-1 after extra time. After that, without Eriksen, Denmark went to the 1/2 final of the Euro. But the latter came into his own as they dominated the Blues twice (1-2 and 2-0) in this year’s League of Nations.
The prediction where not to risk: Mexico – Poland
It is on the result of this Group C match that the identity of the team that Argentina must join in the 1/8th must depend. But it’s smart enough to tell which one is likely to win. The Poles certainly rely on their goal hunters Arkadiusz Milik and Robert Lewandowski, the FC Barcelona striker, 34, 76 goals in 134 caps, but still looking for a goal in the World Cup. In 2018, he remained silent and Poland failed in the 1st round. The Poles are looking for 1/8th for the first time since 1986, after three eliminations in the 1st round in their three Worlds participation since (2002, 2006 and 2018).
On the other hand, Mexico, which is an aging team and has no real stars, comes to the World Cup with uncertainty. But, unlike their opponents on Tuesday, Tata Martino’s team have mastered the art of exiting the group stage.
The number: 7
Mexico, competing with Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia in Group C, has lost seven in a row in the World Cup’s Round of 16.