Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico: Top Storylines, Odds, Live Stream for World Cup 2022
Mexico's hopes of advancing to the knockout round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup are on life support.
El Tri earned one point from their first two games in Qatar, and they are now stuck in a must-win situation against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Mexico's fantastic World Cup record of advancing to the round of 16 in the last seven World Cups is on line inside the Lusail Stadium.
Gerardo Martino's side comes into the Group C finale needing to win by potentially four or five goals to get past Saudi Arabia and one of Poland or Argentina to continue its knockout-round streak.
Saudi Arabia is in a decent position to advance despite losing to Poland in its last match. A win over Mexico will see it move on with six points, but a draw will be enough if Poland beat Argentina.
Saudi Arabia's defensive play regressed in the second half versus Poland, and it may be on the defensive for most of the match with Mexico playing with desperation for 90 minutes.
Odds and Match Info
Saudi Arabia (+380; bet $100 to win $380)
Mexico (-145; bet $145 to win $100)
Over 2.5 Goals (-130); Under 2.5 Goals (+105)
Date: Wednesday, November 30
Start Time: 2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: FoxSports.com and Fox Sports app
Mexico Needs a Win and Help
Mexico's decades-long knockout-round streak at the World Cup is in grave danger.
El Tri got a point off Poland in their opener, but they could not hold on for a result against Argentina. They also gave up a damaging second goal to Lionel Messi and Co. on Saturday.
Mexico needs to beat Saudi Arabia to even think of advancing to the knockout round.
The ideal situation for the Mexicans is for Poland to spring an upset over Argentina so that the South American side remains on three points. Mexico would not have to worry about goal difference in that case.
If Argentina wins, Mexico needs to make up a four-goal gap in goal differential on Poland. Goals scored and goals against are the next two tiebreakers.
A 3-0 Mexico win and a 2-0 or higher victory from Argentina, or any combination that leads to a five-goal swing in goal differential, would favor El Tri.
All of those scenarios sound easy to execute on paper, but Mexico needs to score its first goal in Qatar for that to happen.
Mexico, Tunisia and Uruguay are the only three teams of the 32 participants without a goal through two group matches.
Mexico turned in an expected goals rate of 0.7 versus Poland and 0.3 against Argentina, per FBRef. El Tri only have five shots on target through 180 minutes.
The North American side must be more aggressive in the final third to even have a chance of advancing to the knockout round, and that could result in a fast start from El Tri.
Saudi Arabia Needs a Win to Be Safe
Saudi Arabia sits in a much better position than Mexico going into Wednesday.
The Green Falcons, who already shocked Argentina, need a second win in Group C to land a spot in the round of 16.
They are looking for their second-ever knockout round appearance at the World Cup–they advanced to the round of 16 in 1994.
A draw would put Saudi Arabia on four points, but that would not guarantee it would move on to the next round.
Poland has an advantage of three over Saudi Arabia in goal differential. A one-or-two-goal loss for Poland against Argentina and a Mexico-Saudi Arabia draw would put the European side through.
Saudi Arabia will go through if it draws against Mexico and Poland beats Argentina.
A loss could even get Saudi Arabia through, but it would need Argentina to lose by three or more goals to make up the gap in goal differential.
Saudi Arabia looked promising in attack during the second half against Argentina, but it did not show much against Poland.
The Green Falcons only have one more shot on target than Mexico in the tournament, and they rank in the bottom third of expected goals at 1.9.
Both sides need a plethora of goals to help them advance, but that may not be in the cards given their attacking numbers in Qatar.
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