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World Cup: Group C preview

World Cup Group C contains South American heavyweights Argentina alongside Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia.

Argentina are the favourites to come out on top and win the group at 2/5, with Mexico and Poland expected to fight it out for second place ahead of Saudi Arabia.

What:World Cup
Where:Qatar
When:20th November - 18th December 2022
How to watch:All matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV
Odds:Brazil 9/2, England 11/2, France 6/1, Argentina 7/1, Spain 8/1

All four countries also qualified for World Cup 2018 but Argentina are the stand-out name in the pool. The two-time world champions are still led by global superstar Lionel Messi and are set to have plenty of other high-profile players in their squad like Leandro Paredes, Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala.

Mexico are set to appear at their 17th World Cup and can boast the likes of Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez and Wolves forward Raul Jimenez in their ranks, while Poland's key man remains Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski as they prepare for a ninth finals appearance.

Saudi Arabia, who are getting ready for their sixth World Cup, are the unknown quantity in the group with the vast majority of their squad playing their football in their own domestic league.

Who has been drawn in Group C?

CountryManagerCaptainBest Ever FinishOdds to qualify from Group COdds to win Group C
ArgentinaLionel ScaloniLionel MessiWinners (1978, 1986)1/122/5
Saudi ArabiaHerve RenardSalman Al-FarajLast-16 (1994)5/120/1
PolandCzeslaw MichniewiczRobert LewandowskiThird place (1974, 1982)10/119/2
MexicoGerardo MartinoAndres GuardadoQuarter-finals (1970, 1986)10/115/1

Argentina, who qualified second in the CONMEBOL rankings behind Brazil, memorably won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986 and have been runners-up twice since then, in 1990 and 2016. However, four years ago in Russia they bowed out at the last-16 stage.

Poland beat Sweden in the play-offs in March to book their place in Qatar, but they have only featured in three of the last eight editions and on all three occasions were knocked out in the group stage.

Mexico finished second in the CONCACAF third round qualification process, behind Canada, to land a place in the tournament. This will be their eighth successive appearance in the finals, although in each of the previous seven they were knocked out at the last-16 stage.

Saudi Arabia were AFC Third Round Group B winners in their qualification campaign and have made it to back-to-back World Cups after falling at the group stage four years ago.

When are the Group C fixtures?

DateMatch numberTeam 1Team 2KO timeVenue
22nd November8ArgentinaSaudi Arabia10:00

Lusail Stadium, Lusail

22nd November7MexicoPoland16:00

Stadium 974, Doha

26th November22PolandSaudi Arabia13:00

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

26th November

24ArgentinaMexico19:00

Lusail Stadium, Lusail

30th November

39PolandArgentina19:00

Stadium 974, Doha

30th November

40Saudi ArabiaMexico19:00

Lusail Stadium, Lusail

Argentina will expect to get off to a winning start at 2/11 in the Group C opener on 22nd November against Saudi Arabia, before Mexico and Poland meet later that day.

Poland's second group game is against Saudi Arabia on 26th November, before Argentina and Mexico go head to head in what should be an exciting clash in Lusail.

The group finishes on 30th November when Poland play Argentina in Doha and Saudi Arabia and Mexico square off in Lusail.

Related World Cup Group C News

World Cup - Football: Argentina team profile

World Cup - Football: Mexico team profile

World Cup - Football: Poland team profile

World Cup - Football: Saudi Arabia team profile

Who are the players to look out for in Group C?

Despite being arguably the best player on the planet for well over a decade, Messi has still not won the World Cup so he will once again hope to lead his country to glory in Qatar, while Lewandowski is the undisputed star man for Poland.

Messi is 16/1 to be the top goalscorer in the tournament, while Lewandowski is 40/1.

Mexico will hope Wolves ace Jimenez is fully fit come kick-off after the striker's recent injury problems, while Saudi Arabia midfielder Fahad al-Muwallad has managed 17 goals for his country so far so could be one to keep an eye on.

Who could be the breakout stars in Group C?

Brighton's Alexis Mac Allister has impressed at times in the Premier League and, although he's unlikely to be first choice for Argentina, he can make an impact when called upon.

Jakub Kaminski is only 20 but the Wolfsburg man has been earmarked as a star of the future for Poland, while Feyenoord forward Santiago Gimenez, who is just 21 and was ironically born in Argentina, has already scored twice for Mexico in seven outings.

Who will win Group C?

Most people will be expecting Argentina to win the group but Poland and Mexico cannot be discounted.

The Poles, with Lewandowski's goals, are attractive at 9/2 to come out on top, while the best Mexico can hope for is likely to be second place.

It would be a major shock if Saudi Arabia were able to muscle their way into the top two and an early exit looks to be looming large for the weakest team in the group.

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