World Cup Preview: Tuesday’s slate features Mexico along with Top 5 ranked Argentina and France

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marcio Machado/SPP/Shutterstock (13634534g) Estádio Lusail Lionel Messi prepara comemora apos marcar penalti (1-0) durante partida entre Argentina e Arabia Saudita, válida pela fase de grupos da Copa do Mundo, realizada no Estádio Lusail em Lusail, Catar. (Marcio Machado/SPP) Argentina vs Saudi Arabia, Estadio Lusail, Lusail, qatar – 22 Nov 2022

World Cup Preview: Tuesday’s slate features Mexico along with Top 5 ranked Argentina and France

  • Group C: Argentina No. 3 vs. Saudi Arabia No. 51
  • When, where: 4 a.m. CT, Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail, Qatar)
  • What to expect: Argentina enters the 2022 World Cup as one of the heavy favorites to win the entire tournament. Lionel Messi might no longer be in his prime, but he’s still considered one of the world’s best players and is now fresh off winning his first-ever COPA America championship between the 2018 World Cup to now. Tuesday’s match with Saudi Arabia is the second-most lopsided one of the entire field, as Argentina currently ranks third overall in the world, according to FIFA. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, ranks 51st, which is the second worst in the entire field, next to Ghana (61st). Argentina will likely face stiff competition from both Mexico and Poland moving forward in Group C play, but for now, expect a flurry of offensive firepower from Messi and company against an overmatched and undermanned Saudi Arabian side.
  • Chris Dell’s prediction: Argentina 3, Saudi Arabia 0
  • Group D: Denmark No. 10 vs. Tunisia No. 30
  • When, where: 7 a.m. CT, Education City Stadium (Doha, Qatar)
  • What to expect: Denmark enters 2022 World Cup play as dark horse favorites to win it all. Denmark, the No. 10-ranked team in the world according to FIFA, should have its way with Tunisia in Group D opening play on Tuesday, especially on the defensive end. The “Danish Dynamite” are relatively healthy on both sides of the ball compared to other powerhouse nations, and they boast one of the toughest tasks for any opposing offense to face as well. Tunisia – also known as “The Eagles of Carthage” – will have star striker Yousef Msakni back after missing the 2018 World Cup due to a knee injury. He could certainly make an impact at some point this month, but not necessarily right out of the gates. Look for Denmark to make a run at France in Group D play and easily dispose of Tunisia in this opening contest. I have Denmark making it all the way to the World Cup finals to face Brazil, and unless the French have something to say about that, it’s simply too early for this Danish train to be derailed. I’d be very surprised if Tunisia scored here.
  • Chris Dell’s prediction: Denmark 2, Tunisia 0
  • Group C: Mexico No. 13 vs. Poland No. 20
  • When, where: 10 a.m. CT, Stadium 974 (Doha, Qatar)
  • What to expect: Mexico enters Tuesday’s contest with Poland with a rich history of recent World Cup success and an impressive streak of qualifying through group play. Despite facing global star Robert Lewandowski in this opening match, I still believe Mexico is by far the better overall team here. Poland has yet to qualify for group play in Lewandowski’s star-studded club career, and it often takes more than one singular, striking talent to make noise in the World Cup (just ask previous Portugal sides and Cristiano Ronaldo about that). Mexico will be without striker Raul Jimenez (fitness) and midfielder Jesus Corona (ankle) here, but “el Tricolor” has the depth and young talent to make up for injuries in Group C play. Look for Lewandowski and his lack of World Cup success to be the talk of narrative street come Tuesday, but for Mexico to continue to assert its historical group play dominance at the end of the day and cruise to a win.
  • Chris Dell’s prediction: Mexico 2, Poland 1
  • Group D: France No. 4 vs. Australia No. 38
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Al Janoub Stadium (Al Wakrah, Qatar)
  • What to expect: The 2018 World Cup champions enter the 2022 World Cup with a myriad of injuries to star players such as midfielder N’Golo Kante (hamstring), midfielder Paul Pogba (knee), goalkeeper Mike Maignan (calf), defender Boubacar Kamara (knee) and defender Lucas Digne (ankle). These cluster injuries could come back to bite France later down the road, sure, but not right now. Australia simply does not have the firepower or talent to match the French in this spot, despite an impressive victory over Peru in its intercontinental play-in qualifier game. France still has a healthy and fit Kylian Mbappé, which is all that matters here in Tuesday’s match at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.
  • Chris Dell’s prediction: France 4, Australia 1

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