Australia vs Denmark
Australia will be in the unusual position of having their World Cup destiny in their own hands when they take on the might of Denmark in their final Group D match at their adopted Al Janoub Stadium home on Wednesday.
While precious few would make the Socceroos favourites for the clash, the fact is that a victory for Australia would guarantee them a last 16 spot for the second time, while a draw would suffice if Tunisia are unable to beat already qualified France.
Charged with confidence after outsmuscling Tunisia 1-0 for their first World Cup finals win since 2010, the Australians are determined that the breakthrough victory should not be wasted by a failure to turn up on Wednesday.
“The result will mean nothing if we don’t get a result against Denmark,” said centre back Harry Souttar, who was outstanding against Tunisia.
“It’s going to be an incredible test … it’s all on the line for both teams and it’s what you play football for, the big moments.”
FIFA World Cup today, Day 11 matches
Australia vs Denmark – 8:30pm – Al Janoub Stadium
Tunisia vs France – 8:30pm – Education City Stadium
Poland vs Argentina -12:30am – Stadium 974
Saudi Arabia vs Mexico – 12:30am – Lusail Stadium
Where can you watch the matches in India?
All matches of FIFA World Cup will be telecast live on Sports18 and Sports18 HD. The tournament will be live streamed on JioCinema on Android and well as iOS.
Denmark are still paying the price for failing to score against Tunisia in their opening 0-0 draw, their position in the group becoming all the more parlous when they lost 2-1 to France in their second contest.
European championship semi-finalists last year and regular visitors to the knockout rounds of the World Cup, the Danes should have the quality to beat Australia if they can rediscover their scoring touch.
A win would probably be enough to progress given the unlikelihood that the even more goal-shy Tunisians will be able to upset even a second-string French side in Wednesday’s other Group D tie.
Tunisia vs France
France will look to strike the right balance between resting players and keeping their World Cup momentum going when they take on Tunisia in their final Group D game on Wednesday.
The defending champions qualified for the knockout rounds with a game to spare after a 4-1 win against Australia and a 2-1 win against Denmark, and a draw with Tunisia would guarantee them top spot.
Should they finish first, they will face the team who end up second in Group C, which features Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Poland and Mexico.
Coach Didier Deschamps is set to rest some of his key men and give fringe players minutes at the Education City Stadium.
Kylian Mbappe might be expected to be held back in reserve but the talismanic forward is chasing records in Qatar and Deschamps could give him some playing time to help him add to his seven World Cup goals – three of which were scored here.
Steve Mandanda is likely to start between the posts and Deschamps might also want to give Jules Kounde some time to adjust to the right back position after he replaced the disappointing Benjamin Pavard for the Denmark game.
Deschamps’ biggest decision will be whether Raphael Varane plays or not. The centre back returned from a hamstring injury for the second game and was substituted in the second half.
“I haven’t talked to the coach about it yet. We’ll think about what’s best for the team first, then we’ll see what’s best for me,” Varane told reporters.
Midfielders Aurelien Tchouameni and Adrien Rabiot are likely to be rested as their role is the most physically demanding in the French system.
With Lucas Hernandez ruled out of the tournament due to a serious injury, his brother Theo is the only true left back in the squad.
Get all the results for the FIFA World Cup 2022 here:Full list of all matches, scores, results, goalscorers
Poland vs Argentina
Lionel Messi has already come to Argentina’s rescue at the World Cup. He might just have to do it all over again.
Another emotionally charged evening awaits Messi and the soccer-mad south American nation that worships him when Argentina meets Poland on Wednesday for a match with so much on the line.
For Messi, who is playing in likely his last World Cup. For Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who might also be too old when soccer’s biggest tournament rolls up next in 2026.
And for the World Cup as a whole. Because who, really, doesn’t want to see Messi — one of the game’s greatest ever players — in the late stages of a tournament that is heating up so nicely.
There are multiple permutations at play for the Group C finale: A win for the Argentines and they are sure to advance, likely as the group winners. A draw, and they can either finish in second place behind Poland or be squeezed out by either Saudi Arabia or Mexico, who are playing in a match taking place concurrently.
A loss? Well, that just doesn’t bear thinking about for anyone associated with Argentina. The team wouldn’t just be eliminated but humiliated. Messi might never be seen in the Albiceleste’s sky blue-and-white jersey again.
Saudi Arabia vs Mexico
Argentina, Mexico and Poland may all have been fancied to progress from Group C at the World Cup ahead of Saudi Arabia, but after their stunning win over the Argentines, the Saudis are firmly in the mix ahead of their Wednesday game against Mexico.
In their five previous participations, Saudi Arabia have qualified for the round of 16 only once, on their debut at the tournament in 1994.
In Qatar, Poland lead Group C on four points, one ahead of Argentina and Saudi Arabia, while Mexico are on one point.
If Saudi Arabia want to progress they will have to beat Mexico, regardless of the outcome of the match between Poland and Argentina.
A draw would mean they need Poland to beat Argentina, while a defeat would make the permutations complicated, as they would need to lose by only one goal while hoping that Poland win their match by a bigger margin.
Saudi Arabia stunned the football world when they defeated Argentina 2-1 in their opening group game, only to lose 2-0 to Poland in their second match.
“No one around the world thought that we could play with this level. Yes, in Saudi Arabia we know the players well, but they are unknown to the fans around the world,” Saudi coach Herve Renard told a news conference after the Poland game.
Things will not be easy for Saudi Arabia, however, given that Mexico also have a chance of reaching the last 16, and for the eighth time in a row in their case.
Mexico need to beat Saudi Arabia by at least a three-goal margin, with Poland not losing to Argentina. If the Copa America champions beat the Poles, it will depend on the final result.
Mexico will be reminding themselves that they have never lost to Saudi Arabia in five previous matches, and won twice with 5-0 and 5-1 results in the FIFA Confederations Cup.
But the Mexicans are struggling offensively and the team did not score a goal in the first two matches against Poland and Argentina. They will be desperate for this not to be the first time they fail to score at a World Cup.
“As long as there are chances, we always need to try,” Mexico’s coach Tata Martino said. “Saudi Arabia need to win the match and score goals, and so do we.”