Argentina fell victim to the biggest upset of World Cup 2022 and one of the biggest in the history of the competition. Mexico has Guillermo Ochoa to thank for the point they have in the standings. Argentina vs Mexico is a match that will play a pivotal role in the qualification picture, as the loser will be in much trouble entering the final round.
Argentina, in particular, will be mathematically eliminated if they lose. Even a draw can prove costly, depending on the result of the earlier match of the group, Poland vs Saudi Arabia.
Argentina vs Mexico
Date: 26 November 2022
Time: 19:00 (GMT)
Venue: Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail)
Argentina came into the tournament having an unbeaten run of 36 matches. And they lost to a Saudi Arabia team that wasn’t supposed to cause any trouble. The first half went exactly as most thought it would. Argentina scored a goal, a Lionel Messi penalty kick, and had three goals disallowed as offside. The second one, in particular, has caused much controversy and had many people distrust the semi-automated offside system.
The second half was a different story. Saudi Arabia looked like a world-class team and they scored twice, securing a win over one of the World Cup favourites.
Now the Argentinians have theeir backs against the wall. A win in Argentina vs Mexico is more than needed. It is a must, the only acceptable result. In theory, Argentina has a far superior roster to Mexico, but that was the case with Saudi Arabia as well.
There will be changes in the Starting XI. Lisandro Martinez will possibly replace Cristian Romero in the centre of defence, after the latter’s poor performance. Leandro Paredes was also pretty mediocre and Enzo Fernandez is pushing for his spot in the lineup. Another change might see Di Maria dropping to a deeper midfielder role, with Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez, who is in great shape, entering the Starting XI as a winger.
Angel Correa and Paulo Dybala are fit to play, but they will only be used as substitutes, as they have missed significant time with injuries.
We know the story. It has been the same every single time for the past seven editions of the World Cup. From 1994 onwards, Mexico is always present at the World Cup, they qualify for the Round of 16 and they get eliminated before they ever experience the quarter-finals.
Their opening match, the one against Poland, saw Mexico struggle. In fact, it was Poland the one that came closer to a goal, when Robert Lewandowski was awarded a penalty. A penalty he took, but Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico’s Mr World Cup, was there to stop him.
Ochoa’s relationship with the competition is a beautiful fairy tale. This is his fifth tournament, as he enters an elite group of players to have done so. He is a good to great goalkeeper, but when he gets to the World Cup, he turns superhuman. This is something his team will need in this Argentina vs Mexico match if they want to get something out of it.
Mexico manager, Argentinian Tata Martino (who managed many of Argentina’s players when he was the head coach of the Albiceleste) has no new injury concerns. In fact, one of his best players, Raul Jimenez, might be ready to start and play about 60-70 quality minutes.
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Argentina (4-3-3): E. Martinez; Montiel, Romero, Li. Martinez, Tagliafico; De Paul, Fernandez, Di Maria; Messi, La. Martinez, Alvarez
Mexico (4-3-3): Ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Moreno, Gallardo; Alvarez, Herrera, Chavez; Lozano, Jimenez, Vega
After what happened against Saudi Arabia, Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni knows that his team cannot miss chances the way it did. Two goals are the bare minimum if Argentina wants to have an easy evening.
Argentina vs Mexico Pick: Argentina over 1.5 Goal @1.75
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