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World Cup 2022 Group C Preview: Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski look for first World Cup title

We’re breaking down Group C at the 2022 World Cup.

Jamaica v Argentina Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is just around the corner, as this year marks the first time in history the tournament will take place in the winter. Group C, consisting of Mexico, Argentina, Poland, and Saudi Arabia, will get started on November 22 with Argentina and Saudia Arabia kicking off at 5 a.m. ET. Let’s take a closer look at the group to see how each team stacks up ahead of the group stage.

Mexico

2022 marks Mexico’s seventh straight World Cup appearance, though they haven’t made it past the round of 16 since 1986 when they made a run to the quarterfinals. However, they’ve made it out of the group stage in each of their last seven appearances, although this year Poland will hope to have a hand in snapping that streak.

Heading into this year’s tournament without team staples Chicharito and Carlos Vela, Gerardo Martino has put together a competitive squad that features Rogelio Funes Mori and Guillermo Ochoa. Martino has a wealth of experience having managed both Argentina and Barcelona, and will hope to have a few tricks up his sleeve to get past the group favorites.

Argentina

Lionel Messi likely has one last chance to win a World Cup as the 35-year-old is expected to retire before the next World Cup in 2026. While Messi has won a slew of trophies, the World Cup is the big one that’s always eluded him, as his best finish with Argentina was second place in 2014 after losing 1-0 to Germany in the final.

The No. 3-ranked Argentinians are the heavy favorites to win the group, and will look to rely on the likes of Messi, Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez to get them through to the final. They could be without AS Roma midfielder Paulo Dybala, who suffered an injury and could be out 4-8 weeks, but their stacked squad should be able to fill the void left by the 28-year-old should he not see the field.

Poland

Speaking of superstars potentially playing their last World Cup, 34-year-old striker Robert Lewandowski could be making his last push to lift the World Cup trophy as well. Poland returned to the World Cup in 2018 after missing out on the two prior tournaments, with this year’s iteration serving as their ninth appearance. They haven’t made it past the group stage since 1986, when they were eliminated in the round of 16.

Lewandowski, now playing for Barcelona, has logged 76 goals in 134 caps as he holds the record for most goals and most caps for the Poland national team. He’ll feature alongside the likes of Arkadiusz Milik, Wojciech Szczęsny and Kamil Glik as No. 26-ranked Poland look to give Argentina and Mexico a tough time in the group stage.

Saudi Arabia

No. 51-ranked Saudi Arabia are the clear underdogs in the group as they’re expected to finish in last place in Group C. They’ll be expecting swarms of fans as Qatar is their neighbor just to the east, with Doha just a short six-hour drive from the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Saudi Arabia is making their sixth-ever appearance at the World Cup, having only missed two tournaments since their first qualification in 1994. They boast an entire squad that plays in their domestic league, and while they’ll hope to stay competitive, their chances are very low against the other three heavy hitters in the group.

DraftKings Sportsbook odds to win Group C

Argentina: -250
Mexico: +450
Poland: +400
Saudi Arabia: +2200

Group C Schedule

Tuesday, November 22
Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia, 5 a.m. ET
Mexico vs. Poland, 11 a.m. ET

Saturday, November 26
Argentina vs. Mexico, 2 p.m. ET
Poland vs. Saudi Arabia, 8 a.m. ET

Wednesday, November 30
Argentina vs. Poland, 2 p.m. ET
Mexico vs. Saudi Arabia, 2 p.m. ET