After suffering a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their World Cup opener, Argentina will look to put things right as they lock horns with Mexico on Saturday evening at the Lusail stadium.
Broadly regarded as one of the favourites to win the coveted trophy, Lionel Messi and Co. find themselves on the verge of a shock exit after falling to the Herculean efforts of Saudi Arabia and now sit rock bottom in a tricky Group C.
In a match where they saw their 36-match unbeaten run come to an end, Argentina’s early lead through a Lionel Messi penalty wasn’t enough, eventually losing 2-1. Messi urged fans not lose hope, he said: “I tell people to trust. This group of players is not going to let them down.”
As for Mexico, they will look to shrug off a sticky spell in front of goal and strives to end a run of three games without netting. Mexican legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco is already ‘bullish’ about his nation’s chances against Argentina and has set up an interesting comparison between Mexico’s Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano and Lionel Messi hailing Lozano as a match winner, he said: “Imagine beating Argentina, it would be a very important step. They have Messi, but we have Chucky.”
Results in the last five matches in all competitions:
Argentina: L W W W W
Mexico: D L W L W
Argentina remain injury-less with all 26 players are in contention to feature in the contest. Manager Lionel Scaloni will likely look to make a few changes to his side that are still recovering from the previous shock.
For Mexico, striker Raul Jimenez featured in the second half against Poland suggesting he is approaching full fitness.
Argentina (4-4-2): Emiliano Martinez; Molina, Romero, Lisandro Martinez, Acuna; Di Maria, De Paul, Paredes, Gomez; Messi, Lautaro Martinez.
Mexico (4-3-3): Ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Moreno, Gallardo; Edson Alvarez, Herrera, Chavez; Lozano, Jimenez, Vega.
GWFN | Trambak Bhattacherjee