Mexico against Poland will be on the menu during the third day of the World Cup in Qatar, with both teams probably setting their sights on second place in Group C.
The Mexicans qualified 2nd in the Concaf table, with only Canada finishing above El Tri. The country has been at every World Cup since 1994, so it’s safe to call them a regular. They also managed to reach the round of 16 in all of those.
While Mexico have managed to pull of some surprises along the line, the sentiment is a little less this time. The results in the qualification process have not been as good as before and coach Tata Martino is not a fan favourite at all. The Argentinian spiked discussion with his squad selection, picking Raúl Jiménez, who hasn’t featured for Wolves since the end of August, instead of Feyenoord’s Santi Giménez. The country was also surprised to hear that Diego Lainez would not be on the plane to Qatar.
It’ll be back to back World Championships for Poland, after they were already present at the 2018 WC in Russia. The country had to go deep to qualify for this year’s edition. They finished second in the group behind England and then went on to ultimately beat Sweden 2-0 in the play-offs. With that, Qatar 2022 was secured.
All eyes will obviously be on Robert Lewandowski. The Barcelona striker scored 13 goals in La Liga as of yet and will be looking to score his first goal at a World Cup.
Finishing top of the group will be tough for both countries, as Argentina is also there. That means this first match could prove crucial in the battle for second place.
Here’s the results of both teams in their last five matches:
Raúl Jiménez played in the second half of Mexico’s last friendly before the WC against Sweden (1-2 loss). He will likely also start from the beginning against Poland.
The Polish have a fully fit squad, which includes Lewandowski and Aston Villa’s Matty Cash.
Mexico (4-3-3): Ochoa; Sánchez, Montes, Vásquez, Arteaga; Rodriguez, Álvarez, Herrera; Lozano, Jiménez, Vega.
Poland (3-4-2-1): Szczesny; Kiwior, Glik, Bendarek; Cash, Krychowiak, Linetty, Zalewski; Zielinski, Szymanski; Lewandowski.
Jurre van Wanrooij | GWCFN