Saudi Arabia and Morocco will both square up this Wednesday, with both sides looking to get the maximum points that could qualify them for the next stage of the World Cup.
Venue: Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail)
Saudi Arabia have only ever kept one clean sheet in their 18 games at the World Cup finals.
They have lost just two of their last ten games (W3, D5).
Mexico have just three wins in their last ten games (D3, L4).
They have failed to score in their last four matches at the World Cup finals (D1, L3).
World Cup trivia: Mexico’s 16 previous appearances at the World Cup finals is the most of any nation yet to be crowned world champions.
Head to head
Saudi Arabia have never beaten Mexico in five tries (D1, L4).
Latest performances in all competitions
Saudi Arabia: L-W-L-D-W
After causing one of the greatest shocks in world football when they beat Argentina 2-1 in their opening World Cup game, Saudia Arabia was brought back down to earth last time as they were beaten 2-0 by Poland.
Goals from Piotr Zielinski and Barcelona starman Robert Lewandowski gave Poland the win, with Saudi Arabia also missing a first-half penalty in the game.
The result, and Argentina’s 2-0 win over Mexico, means that all the teams in Group C are still in contention to make the knockout stages. For Saudi Arabia to progress from the group stage since their debut at the tournament in 1994, they will have to win here or at least better the result of Argentina given their current inferior goal difference.
A Mexico side they’ve never beaten before (D1, L4) stands in the way of the Saudis reaching that dream in what will be their 19th historic game at the World Cup finals, with all those matches strangely coming against different opposition. But having already beaten Argentina this year and held their own against Poland despite losing, they will fancy their chances of getting a good result here.
Possible Saudi Arabia starting line-up
Mohammed Al-Owais, Saud Abdulhamid, Ali Al-Bulayhi, Abdulelah Al-Amri, Mohammed Al-Burayk, Nawaf Al-Abed, Firas Al-Buraikan, Abdulrahman Al-Obood, Mohamed Kanno, Salem Al-Dawsari, Saleh Al-Shehri.
Mexico’s struggles in the World Cup continued last time out with another toothless showing in attack.
The Tricolor are one of the two teams yet to score in the World Cup this year, and they stand on the brink of elimination after recording just one point in two games from a goalless draw with Poland in the first game.
While they still have the chance to qualify for the next round, their situation proves much more complex, given that they have yet to determine their destiny.
They must win this game to be in contention to qualify for a ninth consecutive World Cup knockout phase appearance. But that win will only be enough if Poland also beat Argentina; otherwise, a draw or an Argentina victory would see goal difference come into play, with Mexico’s currently the worst in the group.
That could prove the worst-case scenario for Mexico, considering they have failed to score in their last four matches at the World Cup finals (D1, L3), casting serious doubt over their ability to get the win needed as the bare minimum requirement.
Those doubts are only compounded when looking at their record in the last group game of a World Cup tournament, having won only once in their last seven such matches (D3, L3).
Possible Mexico starting line-up
Guillermo Ochoa, Cesar Montes, Nestor Araujo, Héctor Moreno, Kevin Alvarez, Andres Guardado, Luis Chávez, Hector Herrera, Jesús Gallardo, Hirving Lozano, Ernesto Alexis Vega.
|Saudi Arabia to win||Draw||Mexico to win|
Saudi Arabia 1-0 Mexico
For details, FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022 – TV Broadcast / Live Stream