This match will define which of the two teams advances to the Round of 16.
Argentina responded and prevailed against Mexico after struggling in the first half of the FIFA World Cup 2022 group stage game, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel when you have Messi. Mexico’s strong defensive line made it difficult for Argentina to break through, but a moment from Messi restored optimism, and replacement Enzo Fernandez added a fantastic goal as Argentina garnered the three points.
Saudi Arabia were on cloud 9 but were brought down after the defeat to Poland, who were more highly motivated and won with two goals. Poland were decent overall and were cut open several times, but Szczesny’s penalty save preserved Poland in the game, and they now face Argentina, which will decide their progression to the next round.
Kick-off: 12:30 am IST, 7 pm (GMT)
Poland form (all competition): L-W-W-D-W
Argentina form (all competition): W-W-W-L-W
Players to watch
Zielinski was instrumental in Poland’s victory over Saudi Arabia, as he was permitted to glide around the pitch, giving him the power and authority to open Saudi defences and deliver balls to strikers. He was able to combine well with Milik and Lewandowski, resulting in two goals for Poland. He will have to put together another competitive performance when Poland takes against Argentina.
Argentina’s midfield was non-existent, and Messi had to drop deep to collect the ball and carry out attacks. Mac Allister had little involvement in the game, and De Paul lost possession frequently. The introduction of Enzo Fernandez provided Argentina with welcome relief, as they were able to dominate possession and set the game’s direction with his presence. Scaloni should start him since Fernandez is a terrific midfielder.
Injury and team news
Although there are no injuries to report, Czeslaw Michniewicz started Arkadiusz Milik beside Lewandowski, which gave Poland many chances against Saudi Arabia. and the head coach will use the same lineup against Argentina.
Argentina is also injury-free, and despite making many changes against Mexico, it appears that Scaloni will field a different lineup against Poland, as he searches for the dominant eleven that can keep the flow of their game fluid.
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Poland predicted XI (4-4-2): Szczesny; Cash, Glik, Kiwior, Bereszynski; Zielinski, Bielik, Krychowiak, Frankowski; Milik, Lewandowski
Argentina predicted XI (4-3-1-2): Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, Martinez, Acuna; Di Maria, De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Messi, Martinez
If Scaloni can find a strong eleven with good synergy among players and the aptitude to affect the game, Argentina will be an unstoppable juggernaut at this World Cup. Otherwise, they will have to rely on Messi once more, which could be detrimental to their performance. While Poland will offer a threat, at times they become vulnerable in defence, and Argentina have a wealth of strikers.
Argentina are a balanced squad, but Poland will have to rely on individual brilliance, giving Messi and the company an advantage in exposing the Polish team. Argentina should be able to win and advance to the last 16.
Prediction: Poland 0-4 Argentina