Argentina to start World Cup

Argentina are the second favourite to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup. La Albiceleste only trail CONMEBOL archrival Brazil to win the tournament.

Lionel Scaloni’s team is in fine form ahead of Tuesday’s kick-off at the Lusail Iconic Stadium against Saudi Arabia. Argentina could return to the Lusail Stadium in a month to play the final.

However, they will not only need to start with a win on Tuesday but navigate a knockout stage that could see them play Brazil in the semifinals.

Saudi Arabia are up first for La Albiceleste. The Saudis go into the tournament with plenty of question marks around the quality of the squad. Head coach Herve Renard has a squad completely made up of players plying their trade in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia go into the first match fresh off a 1-0 loss to Croatia in a pre-tournament friendly. The draw followed up from a 1-1 draw with Panama six days earlier.

There are not a lot of goals in this Saudi Arabia team. Zero of their last 14 games in all competitions saw Saudi Arabia score more than 1.0 goals. Saudi Arabia’s games are typically low-scoring thanks to their defence.

Saudi Arabia’s last 14 games all ended with under 2.5 goals. Ten of the matches finished with under 1.5 goals.

Argentina are on a strong run of form with nine straight games ending without defeat. Eight of Argentina’s last nine games were wins.

La Albiceleste are on a five-game winning streak with all five of those matches ending with more than 2.5 goals.

Argentina to start World Cup

Renard has managed 13 games as Saudi Arabia’s head coach. He has a record of 3W-6D-4L. He favours a defensive 4-4-1-1 formation. Expect the Green Falcons to try and slow down Argentina’s attacks.

Argentina will be happy to keep possession and limit Saudi Arabia’s time on the time. The Green Falcons should attempt to hit on the counter and give the ball away cheaply.

Saudi Arabia’s defence should fluster Argentina somewhat on Tuesday. However, the Argentines are in no danger of losing and should post a win with under 2.5 goals. The final score should be 1-0 for Argentina.