As a game that immediately screams ‘Lionel Messi for top scorer’, Argentina playing Saudi Arabia on opening match of a FIFA World Cup throws up some great opportunities. This game is going to come with some very intriguing match-ups, but the simple fact is that for all of the results Saudi get in the Asian conference they very rarely bring that with them to the biggest stage.
They have only made the knockouts once, and are typically the lowest ranked team in any of the groups they are drawn in. The 2022 FIFA World Cup is no different and they will do very well to take anything from a group involving Poland and Mexico as well as the pre-tournament favourites.
Who will win this tie?
Argentina, easily. They have a hugely motivated Lionel Messi playing in probably his final FIFA World Cup, as well as a host of players who have bedded into a solid unit. Under Lionel Scaloni they have been solid and consistent, and even won the Copa America – their first trophy since the early 1990s – in Brazil, beating the Selecao in the Final itself.
They come here in hot form, having made a huge impression including a beating of Italy in the ‘Finalissimo’ game that matched them up with the European champions. Argentina are nifty, aggressive, crafty, and technically sound. In short, they bring everything to the table that Saudi usually struggle to deal with.
This should be a healthy opening win for Argentina, setting up a run.