Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski and Christian Eriksen will be among the stars on display on day seven of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Saturday.
Here are four things to look out for:
1, Australia seeking goals
While Tunisia should be applauded for holding Denmark to a goalless draw in their first match, Jalel Kadri’s men could only manage one shot on target at Education City stadium.
Kadri might look to revamp a starting lineup that featured Issam Jebali as a lone central striker against the Danes.
Despite an early goal from Craig Goodwin, Australia also lacked an attacking spark in a 4-1 defeat to France in their tournament opener.
Manager Graham Arnold could hand a start to Cadiz winger Awer Bul Mabil or 18-year-old Central Coast Mariners forward Garang Mawien Kuol in a bid to bolster his attack.
2. Lewandowski’s goal drought
Lewandowski failed to score at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and his travails on football’s biggest stage continued in the opening match of Qatar 2022.
The Barcelona striker was left to rue another wasted opportunity as he missed a penalty in Poland’s 0-0 draw with Mexico on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old will be desperate to break his duck against Saudi Arabia as Poland seek a win that would give them hope of progressing to the last 16.
Standing in his and Poland’s way will be a Saudi Arabia outfit that gave few opportunities to Lionel Messi in a surprise 2-1 victory over Argentina in their first match.
3. Pressure on Argentina
Argentina must win their clash against Mexico at Lusail stadium to have any chance of advancing to the knockout stage.
Manager Lionel Scaloni could hand a starting berth to Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez as he seeks to re-energize an attack that was unable to find a way past Saudi Arabia’s high press.
Mexico boss Gerardo Martino will be hoping his side can carry on the form they showed in the second half of their first match, when they laid siege to Poland’s defense and were unlucky not to score.
4. France: An awakening giant
The reigning champions have had mixed results in recent times but they showed an ability to switch gears when it matters by overcoming a poor start to rout Australia in their tournament opener.
Despite the absence of injured striker Karim Benzema, manager Didier Deschamps is spoiled for choice in attack with Marcus Thuram and Kingsley Coman starting on the bench against the Socceroos.
Denmark looked listless in their opener against Tunisia and will need more from the likes of Christian Eriksen, Andreas Skov Olsen and Kasper Dolberg if they are to have any chance of reaching the last 16.- Advertisement -