Poland v Argentina: Messi to top group after Saudi blip

Messi
A victory will see Argentina top Group C

After Argentina's shock defeat to Saudi Arabia, the South Americans bounced back against the Mexicans, and now have the chance to win Group C. Destiny is not in their own hands as they must win and hope that Poland don't do so against Mexico. Nathan Joyes provides his best bet...

  • A win will guarantee Argentina qualification

  • Poland yet to convince despite unbeaten

  • Plenty to like about Argentina's 2-0 victory over Mexico

  • Follow our World Cup Live Blog here


Winner to progress in top spot

Saudi Arabia's 34.033/1 win over Argentina in their opening match provided one of the biggest shocks we've seen in World Cup history.

The Argentine's had no choice but to bounce back against Mexico and they did just that, thanks to a 64th minute Lionel Messi goal, before Enzo Fernandez secured the three points in the 87th minute with a beautifully curled effort from just inside the box.

Poland, on the other hand, achieved what Argentina could not in their last match, defeating Saudi Arabia thanks to goals from Zielinski and Lewandowski either side of half time.

However, Saudi Arabia's Al Dawsari missed from the penalty spot at 1-0 and despite having double the attempts compared to Poland, failed to build on their emphatic win against Argentina.

Poland haven't been easy on the eye

After analysing Poland's two matches closer, I firmly believe that they are in a false position and I haven't been entirely convinced that they are capable of qualifying to the knockouts.

Their 0-0 with Mexico was a tough watch. Admittedly, neither side wanted to lose, but Poland showed very little going forward.

Lewandowski may have missed his penalty, but that was to be their only main opportunity of the match.

Poland's main man scored his first ever goal at the World Cup to secure the points against Saudi Arabia, after a massive mistake from the Saudi defence gifted Lewandowski a goal which effectively wrapped up the points.

Poland's lack of attacking threat in their two matches should play into the hands of their next opponents.

Mexico tried to hold the South Americans and earn a point, but Argentina were able to wear their opponents down - something they couldn't do against Saudi Arabia.

It wasn't pretty for long periods, but Lionel Messi's goal from outside the box was very much deserved and got his nation back on track for World Cup glory.

As I eluded to in my Argentina v Saudi Arabia preview, the South Americans rarely blow teams away and we had more a sense of that with their 2-0 victory over Mexico.

Argentina back on track

It was obvious that Argentina were left shell shocked from Saudi's quickfire double in their opener and were unable to recover - something we have rarely seemed from this team.

Yet the way they were able to put that performance to the back of their minds and swiftly deal with the Mexicans is why they are expected by many to go all the way.

I can't see the South Americans letting a lead slip like that again - especially against a Polish side who only had one shot on target against Mexico, and mustered up just the three against the Saudis.

Argentina found their stride last game, and they can undo a Polish side who are yet to taste defeat at the World Cup. It may not be pretty at times, but with the quality within their ranks, the pre-tournament second favourites should find a way to win back-to-back matches.

With that in mind, and Argentina already priced rather short, using the bet builder option to throw in under 3.5 goals creates a promising looking 1.824/5 price worth chancing.

Back Argentina to win and under 3.5 goals (1pt)

1.82

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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.