Kick-off: 1900, 30/11/2022
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium
Mexico must beat Saudi Arabia to have any chance of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup for an eighth straight tournament.
El Tri lack the attacking firepower of former years, but this is still a match they should be strong enough to win if taking their chances.
We like 19/5 for Gerardo Martino’s men to prevail by exactly two goals for our opening Saudi Arabia vs Mexico prediction.
Saudi Arabia Odds
Saudi Arabia shook up Qatar 2022 when upsetting heavily-back Argentina 2-1 but were brought back down to earth in a 2-0 loss to Poland.
The Green Falcons fell behind on 39 minutes when Robert Lewandowski set up Piotr Zielenski to fire into the roof of the net.
A soft penalty decision gave the underdogs a chance to hit back, but Wojciech Szczesny saved Salem Al Dawsari’s spot-kick and tipped over from Mohammed Al Burayk on the rebound.
Roared on by a huge crowd, Saudi Arabia pushed for an equaliser but gradually fell apart at the back, with Lewandowski pouncing on a defensive slip and Poland also hitting the woodwork twice.
Head coach Herve Renard tried to put a brave face on things, as he stated: “We are still alive.
“We will play until the last second of our World Cup, we won’t give up.
“I’m just proud of them. I know them perfectly now. I know they are sad. Some of them feel guilty, but football is a team game.”
The fear is that this could be just one match too many for a team lacking experience at the highest level.
Looking at the 15/2 for El Tri to oblige 2-0.
With Javier Hernandez left out and Jesus Corona injured, Mexico have drawn a blank up front in both fixtures so far.
After drawing 0-0 with Poland, El Tri held their own against Argentina for just over an hour until Lionel Messi inspired La Albiceleste to a 2-0 triumph.
Head coach Gerardo Martino knows all about Messi, who hails from the same city of Rosario and is a player he has coached for Barcelona and Argentina.
“When Messi gets the ball, in 30 seconds he can be very harmful,” Martino said.
However, the 60-year-old is determined to get Mexico through the group stage for an eighth consecutive tournament.
“As long as there is a chance, we need to try,” he added. “We held our heads high to face a huge opponent in Argentina and I’m sure we will play the same way and we will break our backs in the next game.”
Martino led Argentina to two Copa America finals, was a runner-up in that tournament with Paraguay and is a CONCACAF Gold Cup winner with Mexico.
The attack-minded manager knows how to get the job done in pressure situations and can help El Tri to hold firm here.
Napoli winger Hirving Lozano netted the deciding goal in a crucial 1-0 win over Germany four years ago and has 16 international goals from 62 caps.
Let’s take 4/1 for the 27-year-old to break the deadlock here for our final Saudi Arabia vs Mexico prediction.
|48'||Henry Martín |
(Assist: César Montes)
(Assist: Hattan Bahebri)
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