One of the pre-tournament favourites Argentina will look to secure round of 16 qualification as they meet Poland on Wednesday at Stadium 974 in Qatar.
Robert Lewandowski finally scored his first World Cup goal against Saudi Arabia as Poland secured the top spot in Group C after beating the Green Falcons 2-0. The lethal forward, who was visibly moved in the aftermath of scoring his first World Cup goal, had the chance to open his account against Mexico from a penalty but Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa brilliantly saved his spot-kick.
Poland have exhibited a potent backline as one of the two teams at the World Cup yet to concede a single goal during their two group-stage matches. A victory for Poland would secure a spot in the last 16 while a draw could also grab qualification provided Saudi Arabia fail to beat Mexico.
Argentina are now back in serious contention to qualify for the knockouts after the 2-1 shock defeat to Saudi Arabia thanks to a comfortable win against Mexico. Lionel Messi who has now scored in consecutive matches and rescued Argentina against Mexico with his rifled effort which beat Ochoa. Enzo Fernandez dealt the final blow with a curling effort from the edge of the box as the Albiceleste climbed to second spot in their group.
A win for Argentina will see them progress to the knockout stages while a draw will leave them dependent on the result between Saudi Arabia and Mexico. However, a defeat will eliminate Lionel Scaloni’s side from the World Cup.
Last five matches in all competitions:
Poland: W D W W L
Argentina: W L W W W
For Poland, an unchanged starting eleven is expected from their match against Saudi Arabia as Matty Cash, Kamil Glik, Jakub Kiwior and Bartosz Bereszyński are all set to continue in defence. Strikers Arkadiusz Milik and Robert Lewandowski are again set to lead the lines in attack together.
Argentina manager Scaloni is expected to experiment with his squad again with players like Leandro Paredes, Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel pushing for a spot in the starting line-up after he made five changes between games with Saudi Arabia and Mexico. The defensive duo of Lisandro Martinez and Nicolas Otamendi should continue after securing a clean sheet against Mexico.
Poland (4-4-2): Szczesny; Cash, Glik, Kiwior, Bereszynski; Zielinski, Bielik, Krychowiak, Frankowski; Milik, Lewandowski
Argentina (4-3-3): E. Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez, Tagliafico; Fernandez, Paredes, De Paul; Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Di Maria
GWFN | Trambak Bhattacherjee