Argentina will kick off their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia in Group C on Tuesday, at the Lusail Stadium. Lusail, Qatar.
Lionel Messi will get a chance to lead his Argentine team to World Cup glory in his fifth time asking.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner sustained an Achilles injury before the tournament missing the first part of open training on Friday and then working on his own on Saturday.
However, he has come out to say that he feels alright and fit to start the first match.
“I feel very good physically, I think I’m in a great moment, both personally and physically and I don’t have any problems,” Messi stated at a press conference on Monday.
The Albiceleste are currently in a 36-match unbeaten run going into this fixture early today.
The Saudi Arabian team will have to start on a strong note if they do not want to have a repeat of what happened in their first game in Russia where they were walloped 5-0 against host nation Russia in 2018.
Herve Renard’s side was unsurprisingly the victims of a group-stage exit four years ago and is fighting an uphill battle to avoid suffering the same result this time around, with Mexico and Poland also taking their places in a daunting Group CC
Kick-off time: 11:00 G.M.T
Stadium: Lusail Stadium
Lionel Messi is fit for the kickoff, and Lisandro Martinez and Guido Rodriguez are both doubtful due to injury and illness concerns respectively.
For Saudi Arabia, Riyadh Sharahili is out due to an injury while Hassan Tambaktii is now back after recovering from discomfort.
Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Tagliafico; De Paul, Paredes, Gomez; Messi, L. Martinez, Di Maria
Al-Owais; Al-Burayk, Al-Amri, Al-Bulahyi, Al-Shahrani; Kanno, Al-Malki; Al-Shehri, Al-Faraj, Al-Daswari; Al-Buraikan
Saudi Arabia has performed well as a team on the defensive front in 2022 but they still have issues in front of goal and this has been evident, they are unlikely to experience much joy against a red-hot Argentina side.
Scaloni’s men have swept aside almost every team that has come before them in the past three years, and we can only envisage La Albiceleste storming to a routine three points on matchday one.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match.