Argentina are under immense pressure to win after the shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their Group C opener.
- Who: Argentina vs Mexico, Group C
- Where: Lusail Iconic Stadium
- When: Saturday, November 26 at 10:00 PM (19:00 GMT)
- FIFA Ranking: Argentina (3), Mexico (13)
- Head-to-head record: 20 matches – 14 wins for Argentina, two for Mexico, two draws
- Last five games:
- Argentina: LWWWW
- Mexico: DLWLW
This is a do-or-die game for Argentina. A defeat to Mexico and Lionel Messi’s men book an early flight home from Qatar.
Until Saudi Arabia blew this group wide open with their shock victory over La Albiceleste on Tuesday, Argentina’s form was truly imperious – unbeaten in over 30 games and one of the favorites to lift the trophy at the World Cup in Qatar .
If Argentina fails to regroup after the devastating dismay, it will mean an ignominious departure and the bitterest end to Messi’s international career.
Argentina’s defense is (mostly) rock solid and it would be a surprise if Mexico manages to break through on goal. Likewise, as we saw in their 0-0 draw against Poland on Tuesday, Mexico’s defense is good, but definitely permeable.
And goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, taking part in his fifth World Cup, who saved a penalty from Polish Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski, will still be hard to beat.
Argentina have Messi, Angel di Maria, Julian Alvarez and Inter teammates Lautaro Martínez and Joaquin Correa all available in attack.
Mexico’s hopes will largely rest on the shoulders of striker Raul Jimenez, who started just a handful of times for the Wolverhampton Wanderers this season. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was left at home.
According to the FIFA ranking, Mexico (13th) is a much better team than Saudi Arabia (51st). They have played in eight consecutive World Cups and their fans in Qatar are among the loudest. But Argentina remains a top team and they have their backs against the wall. Expect fireworks.