The third round of group games at World Cup 2022 continues on Wednesday, as Argentina, France, and Denmark take to the field once more.
Here is our preview of the four concluding matches in Groups C and D, with three places in the round of 16 up for grabs.
The odds for November 30 are taken from the DraftKings sportsbook, where you can get a $1000 deposit bonus.
This is in effect a winner-takes-all encounter with a place in the round of 16 the prize up for grabs. Australia have the edge thanks to their victory over Tunisia, which means a draw would be enough for them to advance. With just one point to their name ahead of Wednesday’s showdown, Denmark must win to avoid an early exit.
We think they should be able to get over the line. Australia dug deep to beat Tunisia last time out, scoring while they were on top and then defending stoutly. But Graham Arnold’s side are pretty limited. They will sit deep and try to frustrate Denmark, but that might not be enough.
Kasper Hjulmand’s side had plenty of bright moments in their 2-1 defeat by France and will back themselves to triumph over a team that finished a distant third in their Asian qualification group, behind Saudi Arabia and Japan.
France were one of only three teams to book their place in the last 16 after two rounds of fixtures, along with Brazil and Portugal. Didier Deschamps’ side will almost certainly advance as Group D winners too since they have a three-point and six-goal lead over Australia in the second.
Didier Deschamps will probably rest some of his key men for this match, ahead of a potential meeting with Argentina in the first knockout round. But that does not mean that les Bleus will be fielding mediocre players. Their second-string side contains talents like Marcus Thuram, Eduardo Camavinga, and Kingsley Coman.
Tunisia will sit deep and look to spoil, but that is unlikely to be enough against opponents with as much quality in their ranks as France.
All four teams are still in with a chance of qualifying for the knockout stage from Group C, so you will not want to miss what could be an afternoon packed full of drama and entertainment. Saudi Arabia will advance for the first time since 1994 with a win, while Mexico must triumph and hope that Poland get the better of Argentina.
El Tri have been disappointing so far. They had plenty of possession in the 0-0 draw with Poland but created too few opportunities. They also struggled to fashion chances against Argentina and ultimately went down to a 2-0 defeat.
Saudi Arabia were impressive against Poland despite losing 2-0. They play with speed and energy, and that could help them to get the better of a Mexico team that has looked labored and one-paced up to now.
Argentina were under huge pressure going into their meeting with Mexico at the weekend when a defeat would have sent them home. Lionel Scaloni’s side were not at their best but they held their nerve to win 2-0. Another victory here would seal their place in the last 16.
A draw would be enough for Poland to advance, but the Eagles have not been especially impressive to date. They were mediocre in a 0-0 draw with Mexico on matchday one, before beating Saudi Arabia 2-0 in an even game in which their opponents were unlucky to lose.
We are therefore backing Argentina to pick up their second win of the tournament in this match. Lionel Messi came up trumps against Mexico and he can inspire his nation to another victory in their third group game.
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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