Preview Saudi Arabia vs Mexico: World Cup Group C, Round Three, 2022
LUSAIL, QATAR - NOVEMBER 26: Pregame festivities and pyrotechnics show before the Group C Match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar between Mexico and Argentina on November 26, 2022, at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, Qatar. (Photo by Richard Gordon/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

All eyes turn to the final matches of Group C, as Saudi Arabia take on Mexico, with both sides desperate to win and take them potentially into the knockout stages of the tournament. 

Saudi Arabia sit third in the group, level on points with Argentina, the side they beat on match-day one. This was a strong result, but they were defeated by Poland in game two. 

Meanwhile, Mexico are currently bottom of the group, picking up just the one point against Poland, before being beaten by Argentina in the second round of the tournament. 

However, both sides (especially Mexico), will be aware that victory will almost guarantee either side a place in the knockout stages. 

 

  • Team news

Saudi Arabia

The middle-eastern side have been hit with a major injury blow, as captain Salman Al Faraj has been ruled out for the remainder of the competition, with a shin injury. 

Similarly, full-back Mohammed Al Burayk has a calf problem and remains an injury doubt, whilst Abdulelah Al Malki will miss the match, through suspension. 

Therefore, the nation will be hoping their remaining squad, can step up and use the absentees as motivation to get a result and reach the World Cup knockout stages for the second time. It would be their first since the 1994 USA World Cup, until they were knocked out by Sweden

 

Mexico

As for their opponents, striker Raul Jimenez will be hoping to make his first ever World Cup start for his country, after a tough few months with injury. The Wolves forward has played just 90 minutes of football since August. 

Tata Martino's side will most likely revert to a back four, meaning a holding midfielder could return. Therefore, it is very likely that midfielder Edson Alvarez will be recalled to the starting eleven. 

However, Mexico could also be without their captain Andres Guardado, after he picked up a muscular injury during their match against Argentina

 

  • Likely line-ups

Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Al-Owais (GK) ; Saud Abdulhamid, Abdulelah Al-Amri, Ali Al-Boleahi, Sultan Al-Ghannam ; Abdulrahman Alobud ; Firas Al-Burakin, Sami Al-Najei, Mohamed Kanno, Salem Al-Dawsari ; Saleh Al-Shehri (4-1-4-1)

Mexico

Guillermo Ochoa (GK) ; Jorge Sanchez, Cesar Montes, Hector Moreno, Jesus Gallardo ; Hector Herrera, Edson Alvarez, Luis Chavez ; Hirving Lozano, Raul Jimenez, Alexis Vega (4-3-3)

 

  • Key players

Salem Al-Dawsari (Saudi Arabia)

Winger Al-Dawsari has had mixed fortunes in the World Cup so far and will be keen to bounce back, when his country needs him the most. 

He began the tournament with a sublime winning goal against Argentina, sealing what was, one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history. 

However, he missed a penalty against Poland, which would have brought his country onto level terms. Saudi Arabia went on to lose 2-0 after Robert Lewandowski sealed the win late on. 

Therefore, he will be desperate to put the miss behind him, and send his side through to the next round of the tournament. 

 

Hirving Lozano (Mexico)

Mexico's standout player is Napoli's Lozano, who has consistently caught the eye for his nation at the tournament so far. 

The 27-year-old is yet to contribute to a goal so far, but has created a handful of chances, and caused opposition defenders, some serious problems so far. 

The nation are yet to score in Qatar, and will be going into their final group game, needing their key men to step up and deliver on the big stage. 

Lozano has scored five goals, and assisted a further three in all competitions for club and country this season. He will be keen to add to that tally, knowing that the nation have to win, and hope results go their way. 

 

  • Match details

Where will the match be played? 

Wednesday afternoon's World Cup clash between Saudi Arabia and Mexico, will be played at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, the stadium which hosted Mexico's defeat against Argentina

What time is kick-off?

Kick-off at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, will be at 7pm UK Time, which is in-line with Group C's other game between Poland and Argentina

How can I watch the game?

The match will be shown live on the BBC for supporters in England, with the program beginning at 6:45pm on BBC Two. This is 15 minutes before kick-off. It will also be live on FOX for oversees viewers, in both Spanish and English. 

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