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Steve Davies World Cup tips
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Argentina v Saudi Arabia and Denmark v Tunisia: Steve Davies' betting tips

Argentina get Group C underway with a match against Saudi Arabia while Denmark kick off the Group D programme against Tunisia, two fixtures you'd probably imagine the favourites win well.

Racing Post tipster Steve Davies, however, suggests the big two might have to work for their wins.

Argentina's form suggests Saudis face almighty task

What: Argentina v Saudi Arabia, World Cup

Where: Lusail Stadium, Al Daayen, Qatar

When: 10:00, Tuesday 22nd November

How to watch: ITV

Odds: Argentina 1/6, Saudi Arabia 14/1, Draw 13/2

Lionel Messi's fifth (and one imagines, final) tilt at World Cup glory starts here, with a Group C clash against Saudi Arabia.

At odds of 1/6 there's no doubting the Albiceleste are going to carry a lot of money and they haven't lost a World Cup opener since Italia '90, when little Leo was still in short trousers.

And they have flown into the Gulf in sizzling form with a quintet of wins to nil - the first against Italy, 3-0, in the Finalissima at Wembley in June - since they last conceded a goal.

They are the reigning Copa America winners, unbeaten in 36 matches and another win to nil is going to be a warm order. It's 8-13 Argentina and both teams not to score.

Obviously Messi, already hugely popular at 10/1 in Golden Boot betting, will be fancied to score first at 21/10 or any time at 4/6, especially when you consider the PSG genius has piled up ten goals in just his last four games in Argentine colours.

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Stubborn Saudis will lack cutting edge to threaten

Herve Renard's Saudis are unlikely to pose much of a challenge since they have failed to score in six of their last ten internationals. In the other four of those they managed just one goal apiece.

They have beaten decent international teams like North Macedonia, Iceland and drawn with the likes of Ecuador and the United States and even when they lose - such as recently to Croatia - they never get hammered. That was a 1-0 loss.

They have lost a game by more than one goal just once - in Japan - since November 2019.

A defence built around Ali Al-Bulaihi and Abdulelah Al-Amri will be tested but will also be well organised. No country at these finals has enjoyed a longer pre-World Cup training camp than the Saudis.

Each of Saudi Arabia's last 19 internationals has produced two goals or less and each of Argentina's last five opening-match wins at World Cups have been by one goal.

They may have to work hard for the win, so the 21/10 Argentina & under 2.5 goals is worth considering or the 2-0 correct score at 9/2.

Danes will look to make pedigree count in tricky opener

What: Denmark v Tunisia, World Cup

Where: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar

When: 13:00, Tuesday 22nd November

How to watch: ITV

Odds: Denmark 8/15, Tunisia 11/2, Draw 3/1

If there's a World Cup radar then you can guarantee Denmark are flying under it once again and they'll be hoping to replicate (at least) what they did at last summer Euros.

Kasper Hjulmand's men were semi-finalists at Euro 2020 yet their campaign of course was almost over before it had started with back-to-back defeats by Finland and Belgium and the desperate loss of Christian Eriksen after his heart attack in the loss to the Finns.

Eriksen is back - and 13/2 to open the scoring - for a Danish side that were hugely impressive in qualifying, winning nine of their ten matches, the first eight without conceding a goal.

Results in 2022 have been more mixed though home-and-away successes over France in the Nations League tell you plenty about a side who are going to be a threat in Group D.

Tunisian toughness means they won't roll over

Defeats by England and Belgium in the group stage of the last World Cup show Tunisia have ground to make up on the best European teams.

Defensively they will be solid but having to rely on the likes of Montpellier's injury-prone frontman Wahbi Khazri - he hasn't found the net since August - for goals shows the issue they will have.

And first things first, they'll need to get the ball off Denmark which will be difficult in itself from their defensive starting position.

The Danes can land the 8/15 odds, though that's probably short enough in a game which could get tense.

If, as expected, the Tunisians set up well this could get frustrating for Kasper Schmeichel and pals and maybe the 3/1 Draw - Denmark Half Time/Full Time result could oblige.

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