The second round of group games at World Cup 2022 continues on Saturday, with Argentina facing a must-win game and reigning champions France back in action.
Who will win the four matches taking place in Qatar on the first day of the weekend? Let’s take a look.
The odds for November 26 have been taken from the Caesars sportsbook, where you can get up to $1250 in free bets.
Tunisia held Denmark to a 0-0 draw after a battling performance on Tuesday. The North Africans were aggressive and tenacious, and they did not defend quite as deeply or as passively as many expected. The Danes struggled to create chances from open play, as Tunisia deservedly picked up a point in their opening match.
Australia had a dream start to their meeting with France, taking an early lead through Craig Goodwin. But the Socceroos were ultimately outclassed by the world champions, who fought back to win 4-1 at the Al Janoub Stadium.
Australia must avoid defeat here to keep their hopes of a place in the knockout stage alive. These two teams might end up canceling each other out, with defenses likely to come out on top. Both Tunisia and Australia could do with a win, but the draw looks tempting from a betting perspective.
Saudi Arabia delivered one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history when they beat Argentina 2-1 on Tuesday. Herve Renard’s side were incredibly bold, defending with a high line and pressing high up the pitch, and their risky approach brought a remarkable reward against one of the tournament favorites with the best online sportsbooks.
Poland were underwhelming in a 0-0 draw with Mexico, even though they had a golden chance to win the game from the penalty spot. Robert Lewandowski saw his effort saved by Guillermo Ochoa, in what was one of the Barcelona striker’s few contributions to the match.
Given Poland’s lack of speed up top, Saudi Arabia will again hold a high line and look to squeeze the space ahead of them. A draw would be a good result for Renard’s men.
France fans may have feared the worst when their team went 1-0 down to Australia on Wednesday, but a tremendous display from minute 20 onwards saw the world champions turn the game around. A thumping 4-1 win leaves les Bleus one victory away from sealing a place in the knockout phase.
Denmark recently beat France twice in the Nations League, so this will not be a one-sided encounter. But Kasper Hjulmand’s side were underwhelming in their opening match against Tunisia, which ended 0-0 after both teams struggled to create chances from open play.
France do not always control games as Didier Deschamps would like, but they have world-class attackers who can influence any game. That star quality at the top of the pitch - Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, and Ousmane Dembele all excelled against Australia - should make the difference this weekend.
Argentina will need to pick themselves up quickly after that shock loss to Saudi Arabia. Lionel Scaloni’s side cannot afford to dwell on that result, since another defeat here would end their chances of progressing to the knockout phase. That would be an extraordinary outcome given Argentina have been heavily backed to win the World Cup.
A familiar shortcoming let Mexico down in their 0-0 draw with Poland. El Tri had plenty of the ball but did not do enough with it, landing just four shots on target at Stadium 974. Tata Martino’s men may be left to rue their failure to capitalize on their dominance against the Poles.
Argentina were spooked by the Saudis last time out, but we fancy their chances of bouncing back on Saturday.
Dates: November 20 - December 18
How to Watch: Fox Sports, Telemundo, fuboTV
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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