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World Cup 2022 is back on Saturday with four more group games, as reigning champions France take on Denmark in a crunch clash.
Argentina are also in action following their shock loss to Saudi Arabia last time out, a result which has left Lionel Messi and co. under pressure.
We have made a parlay for Saturday’s games in Group C and Group D. Check out our selections below.
The odds for November 26 are from the FanDuel sportsbook, which is giving out a generous $1000 no-sweat first bet right now.
Tunisia and Australia are the two weakest teams in Group D, so a win in this match is essential to each side’s chances of progressing to the knockout phase. The North Africans begin the game as favorites after their battling 0-0 draw with Denmark on matchday one.
Kasper Hjulmand’s side had plenty of the ball against Tunisia but struggled to break down their well-organized defensive structure. Jalel Kadri’s side will have to adopt a more proactive approach here, but they are unlikely to push men forward with abandon.
Australia will probably be happy to keep things tight early on too since a defeat would be fatal to their hopes of advancing from Group D. This could be a slow burner that only opens up after the interval.
Saudi Arabia blew Group C wide open with an extraordinary 2-1 victory over Argentina last time out. Soccer fans and the best online sportsbooks alike anticipated a one-sided encounter on Tuesday, but the Green Falcons pressed from the front and held a high defensive line to stun one of the pre-tournament favorites.
Widely expected to finish bottom of Group C, Saudi Arabia now have a decent chance of progressing to the knockout phase. Against a Poland side that does not possess too much pace in attacking areas, Herve Renard’s side will again push up the pitch on Saturday.
Although they scored twice against Argentina, the Saudis did not fashion too many clear-cut opportunities. Poland were underwhelming in an attacking sense in their 0-0 draw with Mexico, so this might not be a high-scoring thriller.
France fell behind Australia in their opening encounter, as Craig Goodwin took advantage of some poor back-post defending from Benjamin Pavard. It was a bad start for the holders, but they bounced back to win 4-1 after playing some impressive soccer, with Kylian Mbappe in terrific form.
Denmark had been held to a 0-0 draw by Tunisia a few hours before France began their campaign. Kasper Hjulmand’s side had plenty of the ball at the Education City Stadium, but they struggled to translate possession into scoring chances against dogged opposition.
Denmark will have more space against France than they did against Tunisia, and that should aid their attacking efforts. At the same time, though, they will struggle to keep Mbappe and co. quiet at the other end.
When Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 10th minute, Argentina looked set to cruise to victory over Saudi Arabia. Instead, two quick-fire goals early in the second half turned the match on its head, as the Green Falcons registered a famous victory over last year’s Copa America winners.
Meanwhile, Mexico were held to a 0-0 draw by Poland in their first game. Their opponents missed the best chance of the match from the penalty spot, but El Tri were the better team in general play. However, their lack of a ruthless streak in the final third proved costly at Stadium 974.
Argentina are under huge pressure going into Saturday’s match, but they must find a way to shut out the outside noise and play their natural game. If they can do that, Lionel Scaloni’s side should emerge triumphant.
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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