Lionel Messi is about to begin his fifth and final World Cup finals and these Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia predictions suggest he will get off to a successful start. These two meet in the opening match in Group C in the early kick-off on Tuesday.
1 – Argentina to win – 1/6
2 – Under 2.5 goals scored – 6/5
3 – Both teams not to score – 4/9
4 – Half time/Full time Argentina/Argentina – 8/13
5 – Lionel Messi to score at any time – 4/6
All eyes will be on Messi at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday, as Argentina kick off their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia. It is widely believed that this will be the player’s final tournament – and many are tipping him to cap an incredible career off by lifting the trophy.
First, Argentina need to get Saudi Arabia out of the way. The signs are good though. The Albiceleste come into the tournament on the back of a 35-game undefeated streak and have looked impressive against admittedly weaker opposition in recent friendlies.
With set-piece duties, Messi is a good bet to find the net at some point during the game, although the scoreline may not be as comprehensive as some might think. Early games in World Cup tournaments can be cagey affairs and Saudi Arabia will defend deep here.
That’s why a low-scoring game could be on the cards – although one that Argentina do go on to win. Saudi coach Hervé Renard would probably take a narrow defeat against one of the favourites as a stepping stone to get something out of the following games against Poland and Mexico.
The Green Falcons looked good in qualifying, finishing top of a final round group that also included both Japan and Australia. That campaign was followed by an intensive round of friendlies and just a narrow 1-0 loss to Croatia.
Renard will not be targeting this game as the one to take some points from in this group and will use his extensive knowledge and expertise of World Cup finals to give Saudi a chance of progressing to the knockout rounds for the first time since 1994.
How to stream Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia
Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia will be broadcast by national TV stations all around the world – as well as online.
Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia last five matches
Argentina last five matches
Italy 0-3 Argentina
Argentina 5-0 Estonia
Argentina 3-0 Honduras
Jamaica 0-3 Argentina
United Arab Emirates 0-5 Argentina
Saudi Arabia last five matches
Saudi Arabia 1-1 Albania
Saudi Arabia 0-0 Honduras
Saudi Arabia 1-0 Iceland
Panama 1-1 Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia 0-1 Croatia
Argentina top World Cup qualification goalscorers
Lionel Messi – 7
Lautaro Martinez – 7
Ángel Di Maria – 3
Nicolás González – 3
Joaquín Correra – 2
Saudi Arabia top World Cup qualification goalscorers
Salem Al-Dawsari – 7
Saleh Al-Shehri – 7
Salman Al-Faraj – 4
Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia line-ups
Argentina (4-3-3): E Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Peredes, Goméz; Messi, L Martínez, Di Maria
Saudi Arabia (4-3-3): Owais; Ghanam, Amri, Bulaihi, Sharani; Najei, Sharahili, Faraj; S Dawsari, Buraikan, Bahebri
Argentina team news
Everything will go through Lionel Messi – but he does have quite the supporting cast. Head coach Lionel Scaloni has fostered a very good team spirit since taking over and has won over the fans with the performances. Defensive rock Cristian Romero should be back from injury, as will Juventus attacker Ángel Di Maria.
Saudi Arabia team news
Although Hervé Renard will set his side out in a 4-3-3 formation, it is much more likely to drop deep in all areas of the pitch, with the strikers hoping for a few chances to do something up the other end. The entire squad play in Saudi Arabia and Renard will be hoping that top player Salem Al-Dawsari has fully recovered from his recent appendix surgery to perform in Qatar.