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Poland vs Saudi Arabia, FIFA World Cup 2022, Today Match Prediction

Al Rayyan, Education City Stadium

2

Star

0

Shock winners Saudi Arabia lining up another positive result against Poland

  • Saudi Arabia gave us one of the great World Cup shocks by beating Argentina 2-1
  • Despite going behind in the game, the Saudi’s intensity and pressing meant they deserved win
  • Poland played out a hard-working 0-0 draw against Mexico in their first game

Poland 1-1 Saudi Arabia

Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Al Rayyan, Education City Stadium

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Not in many a decade have we seen such a shock in a World Cup game.

In their fifth World Cup, and their first since 2006, Saudi Arabia caused a proverbial earthquake by beating Argentina in a result that will have sent shockwaves throughout the tournament.

We have seen one or two surprising results so far, including Japan beating Germany also by a 2-1, but there has been nothing within living memory that quite compares to the 51st best team in the world beating the 3rd. 

Saudi Arabia will now have their sights set on qualification for the knockout phase, something they can take another giant leap towards with a positive result here.

Poland were rather disappointing in their 0-0 draw with Mexico, a game in which they offered very little going forward at any stage of the game.

They did, however, miss a penalty when star striker Robert Lewandowski fluffed his big chance from the spot. It was a miss that typified the game as a whole, which had little quality in front of goal.

You feel that Poland need a victory to put themselves in contention to go through.

Poland Preview

FIFA Ranking: 26

Predicted Finish: Group Stage

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Group C is now wide open after Argentina’s defeat

     They will fancy themselves to grab three points here

Reasons to be fearful:

     Looked desperately short of confidence in front of goal

     Haven’t scored a World Cup goal from open play since 1998

Poland will have been disappointed to have come away from the game against Mexico with just a point, considering their penalty miss during the second half.

It was the ideal opportunity to take command of Group C after Argentina’s dismal defeat to Saudi Arabia. The way it stands, all four teams will now harbour hopes of qualifying for the Round of 16.

If Poland can claim victory here, they will go level on points with the Saudis, as well as potentially either Argentina if they beat Mexico. That will leave a thrilling finale in the final round of fixtures.

To get there, however, Poland have to win here. Lewandowski was starved of service for almost the entire game and Poland’s most pressing priority will be to find him in the area with greater frequency.

Poland’s last five goals have all been set pieces, which shows you how little they create from open play.

Star Man – Robert Lewandowski

You would have bet your house that Lewandowski would have scored that penalty against Mexico. The striker has been prolific for the past 10 years at every level and you would expect him to score if he is given good service.

Saudi Arabia Preview

FIFA Ranking: 51

Predicted Finish: Group Stage

Reasons to be cheerful

     Win over Argentina was as much deserved as it was shocking

     Have a real opportunity to qualify for the knockout stages

Reasons to be fearful

     Can they produce the same level of intensity again?

     Their high defensive line will get them into trouble eventually

We didn’t have to wait too long for the first major footballing story of the tournament.

In only the fifth game of the World Cup, Saudi Arabia delivered a shock for the ages. It didn’t appear as though it would be that way, however. Argentina scored first and had another three ruled out for offside.

Indeed, that high defensive line of Saudi Arabia’s almost got them into trouble on numerous occasions, only for the lineman’s flag to save them. 

In the end, it was this intense pressing that won them the game, but it is likely to get them into trouble against teams that can exploit that particular weakness.

Whether Poland are the team to do that, without a great deal of pace upfront, remains to be seen.

The Saudis will aim to do things in a similar way here. 

Star Man – Salem Al Dawsari

Scored the winner during an incredible five-minute comeback spell for the Saudis, a just reward for his incredible hard work throughout the match. 

Should be an even game

     Both sides could cancel each other out

     Game could come down to the final moments

So far, we’ve seen that most of the games at this World Cup have been close going into the final minutes of the game.

Only England’s win over Iran, France’s win over Australia and Spain’s victory over Costa Rica have been done and dusted approaching the end of the game.

You feel that this will be a tense encounter. Saudi Arabia, with three points on the board, won’t need to panic and take needless risks, while Poland can’t afford to lose this and don’t have the best firepower upfront.

Despite Lewandowski, you wonder where the goals will come from for Poland. 

A draw could be the most likely result.

Poland 1-1 Saudi Arabia

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Author: Ross B.