Which is in store for Argentina vs Saudi Arabia, Denmark vs Tunisia, Mexico vs Poland and France vs Australia in Qatar.
Four games are scheduled on day three, Tuesday, November 22, of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Argentina vs Saudi Arabia (Group C): 1:00 p.m. (10:00 GMT), Lusail Iconic Stadium
Denmark vs Tunisia (Group D): 4:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. GMT), Education City Stadium
Mexico vs. Poland (Group C): 7:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. GMT), Estadio 974
France vs Australia (Group d): 10:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. GMT), Al Janoub Stadium
What to expect:
Argentina vs Saudi Arabia
- Argentina, which sits third overall and is led by their captain Lionel Messi, who is playing in his fifth World Cup, is heavily favored over the young team of Saudi Arabia, which is ranked 51st.
Players to watch:
- All eyes are on Messi, who this week set off the alarms after missing a scheduled team training session due to “muscle overload.” The 35-year-old player, who has anticipated that this World Cup will be his last, assured the fans on Monday that he is “physically very well” and that he is looking forward to the game against Saudi Arabia.
- “I think I’m in a great moment, both personally and physically, and I don’t have any problems,” Messi said at a press conference.
- Messi seemed to be enjoying the frenetic World Cup atmosphere in Qatar, which is home to thousands of Argentine fans.
- Messi is the third-highest international goalscorer in football history, behind Ali Daei and Cristiano Ronaldo, and has amassed a staggering 91 international goals in his career.
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) November 22, 2022
- 19-year-old Firas Al-Buraikan from Saudi Arabia is playing his first World Cup and goes into the 2022 World Cup with 11 goals.
- Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard said his team is looking forward to starting the tournament after struggling for the past two years to reach the final.
- “We had a good preparation period and all the players benefited from it. We look forward to putting on an honorable performance for Saudi Arabia,” he said on Monday.
- Saudi midfielder Abdulelah Al-Malki said: “We didn’t come to the World Cup just to be there. We are here to produce our best and make Saudi proud.”
- Saudi Arabia have never won their first World Cup match since they first participated in 1994. Their best result was a 2-2 draw against Tunisia in 2006.
Denmark vs Tunisia
- Fueled by strong performances at Euro 2020 and the Nations League, Denmark scored an impressive 30 goals, winning nine caps in their World Cup qualifying campaign en route to Qatar.
- Tunisia, which was nearly knocked out of the 2022 World Cup due to alleged government interference, is hoping to advance from the group stage for the first time, and in its fifth World Cup.
- The two teams have not competed against each other in the World Cup. However, the Scandinavians defeated Tunisia, known to their fans as the Eagles of Carthage, 2-1 during an exhibition game in 2002.
Players to watch:
- Manchester United midfield superstar Christian Eriksen, who will mark his fourth World Cup appearance despite going into cardiac arrest last June during a Euro 2020 match.
- Tunisia will rely on the effective and experienced attacking trio of Wahbi Khazri, Naim Sliti and Youssef Msakni to boost the North African team’s dismal 2-9 World Cup record.
Mexico vs Poland
- Mexico’s road to the World Cup has been a turbulent one. The elusive team, playing in its 16th World Cup, finished second in the eight-team qualifiers behind Canada on goal difference. The Mexican team has never made it past the quarterfinals.
- Meanwhile, Poland have not escaped their group stage since 1982. The team is now looking to redeem itself after disappointing opening back-to-back losses at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
- This match, which marks the third time that the Mexican and Polish teams have met, will be crucial to determine who comes out of Group C.
Players to watch:
- Poland’s offense is spearheaded by Bayern Munich striker and FIFA Men’s Player of the Year Robert Lewandowski.
- Look out for an amazing save or two from Mexican goalkeeper and World Cup cult hero Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa, who is set to play in his third World Cup.
France vs. Australia
- France, looking to defend its second World Cup title, after beating Croatia in Russia in 2018, heads to Qatar as a fan favorite expected to reach the semifinals, if not the final. The heavy-hitting French team is projected to slide through Group D with ease.
- The young and hungry Australian team, playing in their fifth consecutive World Cup, face an uphill battle as they seek to advance from the group stage for the first time under coach Graham Arnold.
Players to watch:
- The pressure is now on the ever-lethal Frenchman Kylian Mbappe, who guided France to a National League title last year after Les Bleus suffered a series of troublesome injuries.
- In particular, France was hit hard on Saturday when Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema tore a muscle in his left thigh while training. Starters N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba are also notably absent from the 2022 squad due to injuries.
- But Benzema’s last-minute withdrawal could be a blessing in disguise, as Mbappe is now expected to be paired with his favorite strike partner Olivier Giroud.
- Mbappé and Benzema have combined brilliantly at times, but Mbappé has said that Giroud’s style of play probably suited him better. He’s on the lookout for Ajdin Hrustic, who seems to have gotten over a previous injury and may add a spark to Australia’s offense.
- See the full World Cup 2022 schedule here, and be sure to check out Al Jazeera’s AI match forecaster to see how your team is projected to perform in Qatar.