Group C: Messi finally crowned?

Favorite: Argentina

Like every four years, Argentina is one of the favorites to win the final. Unfortunate finalists in 2014, defeated in an anthology match against France in Russia, Lionel Messi’s teammates have not yet climbed the last step. As always, the selection will count on a fiery attack (Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria…) to reach the top. The playoffs served as trials during which theAlbicelestial finished undefeated behind Brazil with 39 points out of a possible 51 and 27 goals scored and 8 conceded. Things are finally starting for Argentina and the slightest misstep could cost them dearly in this group where Mexico and Poland are lurking.

Player to watch: Lionel Messi

Who else but Lionel Messi? The Argentine number 10 hypothesized it last October: the world championship in Qatar could very well be his last. At 35, Messi already has four participations and will join the club of five world championships held occupied by Lothar Matthäus, Antonio Carbajal, Gianluigi Buffon and Rafael Marquez. The Parisian playmaker, on the other hand, will break the record of 25 games played by Matthäus himself in the event of qualifying for the final. Given his current level of play, he can achieve this feat. Back on his feet as evidenced by his 11 goals and 14 assists in 18 games, Neymar’s team-mate arrives in the best shape possible in Qatar to claim the supreme title having already won the competition’s best player in 2014.

The outsiders: Poland and Mexico

Poland has often disappointed at the World Cup. In the last eight editions it has never managed to pass the hens. Worse still, she finished bottom of her group in Russia despite seasoned players and opponents (Colombia, Japan, Senegal) anything but untouchable. Again this year, the workforce is full of talent. Between captain Robert Lewandowski, the invincible Piotr Zelinski and experts like Grzegorz Krychowiak or Kamil Glik, the “White Eagles” have the qualities needed to qualify for the round of 16.

As for Mexico, they return to the biggest international stage after an enticing Russian campaign in 2018. Runners-up in the CONCACAF zone qualifiers tied with Canada, Mexico’s selectionEl Tri he showed surprising regularity in the World Cup with seven rounds of 16 in as many editions. Surprisingly victorious against the Germans in 2018, Hector Herrera’s teammates will certainly not complex against the great Messi’s Argentina. In the match, the group has the experience and quality to beat everyone. But beware of the ignition delay because in the event of a setback against Poland in the first game, Gerardo Martino’s pupils will play for survival againstAlbicelestial.

Players to watch: Robert Lewandowski and Guillermo Ochoa

Robert Lewandowski’s World Cup record before this? Only one participation and zero goals scored. Hardly credible figures when you see him hitting goal after goal every weekend for 15 years now. Also this year the goalscorer Pole has expressly acclimatised to La Liga and already brings his goals total to 18 in 19 games. Still complete despite his 34 springs, the top scorer (76) and player with the most caps (134) in the history of the Polish selection deserves to open his counter at the World Cup and experience one last emotion in the national team.

What do Gianluigi Buffon and Guillermo Ochoa have in common? Both have played in five World Cups. Called up by Tata Martino, the former Ajaccio bulwark will live his fifth season at 37 years old. For three years he held the cages of his forever club, the America club. In twenty years of career, Ochoa will have known moments of glory. For example during the Brazilian World Cup against the host nation where he will have disgusted the Brazilian attack just to recover the point of the draw. At the end of the latter, the interested party did not hesitate to qualify this match as “the one of his life”. This year it will not be Neymar but Messi who will stand in front of him. An ideal environment to release a new legendary performance.

The great coast: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is advancing like a chicken’s thumb. Normal when you place next to Argentina, Poland or Mexico. However, Hervé Renard’s selection need not be ashamed of his pre-world run. The ‘Falcons’ finished top of their group ahead of nations such as Japan and Australia. This success is mainly based on an impermeable defense (6 goals conceded in 7 games). In Qatar, this same defense will be tested to come in from what has been done best or nearly so with Argentina. In the event of a positive performance against the South American army, the outcome of this group would then take an unexpected turn.

The actor to watch: Hervé Renard

Hervé Renard has once again launched a fun challenge. Knight of Africa with his two African Cups (CAN) won with Zambia and Ivory Coast, reprimanded by Lille after a short experience of 6 months, the native of Aix-les-Bains set off to conquer the ‘Orient. Since 2019, the fifty-year-old has in fact taken the reins of Saudi Arabia. So far the results are positive with a first place in the World Cup qualifiers and a final in the Gulf of Nations Cup. The team is working well but getting out of this group would be a miracle that perhaps only Hervé Renard is capable of.

Group C calendar

Leaderboard prediction:

1st Argentina

2nd Poland

3rd Mexico

4th Saudi Arabia

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