Poland tie to leave Argentina facing stunning exit
Argentina's 2-0 win over Mexico in their second 2022 World Cup Group C game went some way to restoring the fans' faith in La Albiceleste, a result that lifted them up to second in the pool but far from guaranteed a spot in the last 16. Poland know that if they can get at least a draw in the final match against Leo Messi and co, they will advance to the last 16 for the first occasion since 1986, whereas a tie from Lionel Scaloni's perspective might not be enough, especially if there's a decisive outcome either way in the Saudi Arabia-Mexico game. Everything points to a dramatic, potentially historic game on Wednesday night at Stadium 974 in the capital city of Doha. Read our preview here:
Woj, Woj, Woj
One of the few goalkeepers to cover themselves in glory during the tournament to date has been Wojciech Szczesny. Not only has he kept two clean sheets, he saved a vital penalty during the Saudi Arabia game whilst his side were 1-0 up, and went on to make several vital stops to preserve their lead. Busy as he was during that second game, he is almost certain to face an avalanche of shots from all kinds of angles in the final match of the pool. He'll need the defence in front of him to be strong and resist the temptation to deploy too low of a block, which would just serve to encourage the opposition technicians in advanced areas. Robert Lewandowski pounced on a defensive error to finally get his first ever World Cup goal several days ago, and he'll have the confidence he needs to ensure he makes the most of the chances that come his side's way. Arkadiusz Milik could get the nod to partner him in a narrow 4-2-2-2.
An Enzo for the ages
Whilst much of the attention is always lavished on Messi no matter what the situation, the performance of Benfica's Enzo Fernández also caught the eye. The 21 year old picked his spot brilliantly to put the tie beyond Mexico, and he is bound to be asked to push up high alongside Alexis Mac Allister and Rodrigo De Paul if he gets drafted into the first XI from the outset as Scaloni seeks to hem Poland into their own third. Naturally, the onus on attack mustn't come at the expense of personnel in defence when Biało-czerwoni are able to beat the press. The CONCACAF side have looked toothless at the World Cup, and that might lull Nicolás Otamendi and his fellow back four members into a false sense of security.
Poland have already proven they are stoic in defence whilst also having just enough in attack to worry anyone in the tournament. For their journey to continue, that trend must carry on as well. Argentina can't rely on the other game ending favourably for them, and there has already been evidence of how brittle they can be mentally as a collective when things aren't going their way. bet365 have odds of 4.20 for a draw that might just not be enough for them to squeak through.