The next World Cup group on the list includes two players who have been on the shortlist for the Ballon D’Or in the past 10 years: Lionel Messi, who won the award 7 times, and Lewandowski who was a runner-up for the individual award in 2021.
After winning the last edition of Copa America, the Argentinian captains a team with high hopes for this cup, especially after the heartbreak at the World Cup 2014. This will be the last World Cup for Leo Messi, so it’s yet another reason to give extra motivation to his teammates and himself.
Argentina should be the clear favorite in this group C, with Poland and Mexico being toe-to-toe to compete for second place in this group.
At the age of 35, Lewandowski should also be heading into his last World Cup and thus the FC Barcelona striker will have an additional incentive. Considering the last time Poland was in a World Cup (2018) it was a major disappointment, with the team ending last in a group with Colombia, Japan, and Senegal, they should take this opportunity to show they are not a one-man team.
Meanwhile, Mexico is boosted by a new wave of young talent and they are managed by Tata Martino, who has much experience at this level, having taken Argentina to two Copa America finals (2015 and 2016).
The outsider in this group is Saudi Arabia, which has qualified for its 6th World Cup ever. However, they have only once passed the group stage, in 1994, and it seems unlikely they will repeat the feat this time.
Here is a detailed analysis of all the teams and players involved in the Group C of Qatar World Cup 2022.
ODDS TO WIN THE GROUP ACCORDING TO CLUTCHBET:
Saudi Arabia +2500
𝙄𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙂𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙥 𝘾…
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) April 2, 2022
QATAR WORLD CUP 2022 GROUP C CALENDAR:
22 November 2022: Argentina – Saudi Arabia
22 November 2022: Mexico – Poland
26 November 2022: Poland – Saudi Arabia
26 November 2022: Argentina – Mexico
30 November 2022: Poland – Argentina
30 November 2022: Saudi Arabia – Mexico
“La Albiceleste” will compete in their 18th World Cup. Argentina has already participated in five World Cup finals, winning two of them with star and captain Diego Armando Maradona.
Argentina’s most recent final occurred in 2014 when they fell to Germany 1-0 under the leadership of Lionel Messi.
Following a victory over Brazil in 2021, Argentina became the current Copa America champion. They also finished second in the World Cup qualifying, six points behind Brazil.
In addition to Lionel Messi, also Di Maria and Otamendi, who are both 34 years old, should be playing their last World Cup. The end of an era for one Argentinian generation and the beginning of another, with young talents like Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Julian Alvarez (Man. City), and Enzo Fernandez (Benfica).
Argentina is considered to be one of the top 3 favorites to win the World Cup and they have an incredible roster, capable of taking the trophy back to Buenos Aires.
ClutchBet odds price them at +650 to win the World Cup and price them at -227 to win group C.
ARGENTINA WORLD CUP POSSIBLE STARTING 11
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Even though this is Saudi Arabia’s sixth World Cup appearance, they are unquestionably the underdog in their group. They appeared in four consecutive World Cups between 1994 and 2006 and the only time they qualified past the group stage was in their first participation ever (1994).
They returned in 2018, finishing third in a group with Russia, Uruguay, and Egypt. They did manage to beat Salah’s Egypt in the last match of the group.
Saudi Arabia qualified for what will be the first-ever Middle Eastern World Cup by winning their qualification group with six victories and two draws, beating out rivals like Uzbekistan and Palestine in the process.
They have some great players, even though they are undoubtedly a lesser-known squad, such as center defender Abdulelah Al-Amri (Al-Nassr), national captain midfielder Al-Faraj (Al-Hilal), or the emerging talent striker Firas Al-Buraikan (Al-Fateh).
When Saudi Arabia is in a group with a favorite team like Argentina, we shouldn’t expect them to win the group, but they will undoubtedly compete for second place.
ClutchBet odds prices Arabia Saudita +2500 to win the group.
Saudi Arabia World Cup Possible Starting 11
Coach: Hervé Renard
Mexico will compete in its seventeenth World Cup as one of six nations that have qualified for every World Cup since 1994.
The team earned a spot in the World Cup by placing second in the CONCACAF qualification, earning the same amount of points as first place Canada.
Mexico should not have many surprises on the World Cup roster under coach Tata Martino, and they should be a squad to keep an eye on given that they have managed to advance past the group stage since 1994.
They should rely on players like Lozano (Napoli), Andrés Guardado (Betis), Edson Alvarez (Ajax) and striker Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton) to do so.
ClutchBet odds prices Mexico +450 to win the group.
Mexico World Cup Possible Starting 11
Coach: Gerardo “Tata” Martino
The second-most favorite candidate to win this group is undoubtedly Poland. Captained by Robert Lewandowski, they will be participating in their eighth World Cup. Poland has won two bronze medals in its history, in 1974 and 1982.
Poland entered the World Cup by making it to the second round of the World Cup playoffs, where they were scheduled to play Russia. However, due to Russia’s suspension, Poland advanced to the playoff final, where they defeated Sweden.
As mentioned, FC Barcelona Robert Lewandowski is the captain and star player for Poland, who has yet to score in a World Cup game and this might be his last one. Other key players in this Poland team are Matty Cash (Aston Villa), Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), Arkadiusz Milik (Juventus), and young starlet Zalewski (AS Roma).
Poland hopes to play its first World Cup knockout game since 1986 under Czeslaw Michniewicz.
Pricing at ClutchBet for Poland to win the group is second-favorite at +400.
Poland Possible World Cup Starting 11
Coach: Czesław Michniewicz
Poland World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Dragowski, Skorupski, Szczesny
Defenders: Bednarek, Bereszynski, Matty Cash, Glik, Gumny, Jedrzejczyk, Kiwior, Wieteska, Zalewski
Midfielders: Bielik, Frankowski, Grosicki, Kaminski, Krychowiak, Skoras, D. Szymanski, S. Szymanski, Zielinski, Zurkowski
Forwards: Lewandowski, Milik, Piatek, Swiderski
ClutchBet predicts that Argentina will take the first position in the group, followed by Mexico in second place, Poland in third, and finally Saudi Arabia in last place, in what will be a very interesting group.
It is likely that the match opposing Mexico and Poland will dictate the runner-up in this group, while Saudi Arabia might aim to steal a point but they lack enough firepower to be able to compete with three teams who have stronger rosters.
We do believe that Mexico will outclass Poland, due to the aged backline that the Polish team currently holds. Glik and Bednarek are known to be quite slow defenders and they can easily be outrun by the incredible speed that Mexico boosts upfront.