Argentina vs.Saudi Arabia -Prediction,Team newsLineups
Argentina's latest quest for international glory kicks off on Tuesday, as the South American nation begin their World Cup 2022 Group C campaign against Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
In what may very well prove to be Lionel Messi's World Cup swansong, the script for the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner to propel his nation to the big one has already been written, and there is every reason to believe that this year could be Argentina's year.
Lionel Scaloni's side made the journey to Qatar with the Copa America already in the bag, and ending a 36-year run without World Cup glory is next on the agenda for the South American champions, whose luminary Messi had not even been born when they last went all the way in the World Cup.
Since losing 2-0 to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America, Argentina have embarked on an astonishing 36-game unbeaten run across all competitions, qualifying for the 2022 World Cup without losing a game and winning each of their last five in all tournaments.
Lisandro Martinez (discomfort) and Guido Rodriguez (illness) are both classed as doubtful, though, while Joaquin Correa has been forced to withdraw injured and has been replaced by Thiago Almada.
Assuming he is fit enough, Messi will expect to form an intimidating attacking trident with Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria, while Cristian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi could line up at the back if Martinez is spared.
As for Saudi Arabia, five-cap midfielder Riyadh Sharahili has reportedly sustained a muscular problem which has thrown his World Cup hopes into doubt, while defender Hassan Tambakti is now back in full training after recovering from discomfort.
It would have been a surprise to see either man start against Argentina, though, and experienced attacker Fahad Al-Muwallad - who has 17 international goals to his name - was left out of the squad after failing a drugs test.
Argentina possible starting lineup:E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi,Tagliafico; De Paul, Paredes, Gomez; Messi, L. Martinez, Di Maria
Saudi Arabia possible starting lineup:
PredicationArgentina 3-0 Saudi ArabiaWhile Saudi Arabia have performed valiantly on the defensive front in 2022, a distinct lack of goals at the other end has been evident, and they are unlikely to experience much joy against a red-hot Argentina side.