Mexico vs Poland World Cup 2022: Date & Time, Preview, Prediction, Team News
Former Argentina boss Gerardo Martino is in charge of Mexico this time around as El Tri make their eighth consecutive World Cup finals appearance after failing to make it past the round of 16 stage seven times in a row. Martino's last success was winning the Gold Cup in 2019.
Meanwhile, Robert Lewandowski is yet to score his first World Cup goal, with Poland hoping to make it out of the group stage for the first time since the 1986 edition in Mexico.
Mexico vs Poland date & kick-off time
|Photo: Getty Images|
Game: Mexico vs Poland
Date: November 22, 2022
Kick-off: 11am ET / 4pm GMT / 6pm CAT / 9:30pm IST
Venue: Stadium 974, Doha
Mexico are heading into their eighth consecutive World Cup appearance, having been eliminated at the last 16 stage in each of their last seven entries.
Former Argentina boss and player Gerardo Martino is the man tasked with breaking that cycle in Qatar, having been in charge of El Tri since January 2019.
The 60-year-old, who spent a season with Barcelona before taking the Argentina job in 2014, guided Mexico to their eighth Gold Cup triumph by beating USA in the final in 2019, before the Americans gained their revenge on his side two years later.
|Photo: The Sun|
Mexico's place at the World Cup was secured with a 2-0 win against El Salvador on the final matchday, as they finished level on points with Canada at the top of CONCACAF qualifying, and crucially three points clear of Costa Rica in the playoff spot.
Whether they have the talent at their disposal to make a serious fist of reaching the last eight for the first time since hosting the tournament in 1986 remains to be seen, but their upcoming fixture against Poland could be crucial in terms of advancing from Group C.
Poland, meanwhile, are aiming to progress beyond the group stage for the first time since Mexico '86, with their opening game against that nation likely to be crucial given that outright second favourites Argentina are also in their group.
The Eagles have fallen at the first hurdle in each of their last three World Cup appearances in 2002, 2006 and 2018 - winning one match and losing two in each of those editions - having failed to hit the heights of finishing third in 1974 and 1982.
Former Legia Warslaw boss Czeslaw Michniewicz was appointed as head coach earlier this year, making himself an almost instant hero in the position by guiding the Poles to a 2-0 win against Sweden in a qualifying playoff to reach Qatar.
As has often been the case in the past decade or so, their hopes of performing well at a major tournament heavily hinge on the form of legendary forward Robert Lewandowski, who is still yet to score at a World Cup having blanked in all three matches in 2018.
The 34-year-old will be determined to rectify that unwanted record against Mexico on Tuesday, and potentially put his nation in the driving seat for second spot in Group C in the process.
Mexico squad & team news
|Photo: Getty Images|
Mexico's 29-goal Raul Jimenez came off the bench in the 2-1 international loss to Sweden on Wednesday in his first appearance since August and may yet again start on the bench.
That may mean Henry Martin leads the line of attack, while Jesus Corona has been ruled out of the tournament on account of an ankle injury.
Mexico possible XI: Ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Moreno, Gallardo; Alvarez, Herrera, Guardado; Lozano, Martin, Vega
Goalkeepers: Ochoa, Talavera, Cota
Defenders: Moreno, Gallardo, Araujo, Montes, Sanchez, Aeteaga, K. Alvarez, Vasquez
Midfielders: Guardado, Herrera, E. Alvarez, Pineda, Antuna, Gutierrez, Rodriguez, Alvarado, Romo, Vega, Chavez
Forwards: Jimenez, Lozano, Martin, Funes Mori
Poland squad and team news
Lewandowski was kept fresh in the 1-0 win over Chile in Wednesday's friendly tie and should start on Tuesday with huge expectation on his shoulders.
Matty Cash of Aston Villa would be available subject to his recovery from a shoulder problem.
Bartlomiej Dragowski, Jacek Goralski and Adam Buksa were forced to withdraw from Poland's final squad due to injuries.
Poland possible XI: Szczesny; Bednarek, Glik, Kiwior; Bereszynski, Krychowiak, Zielinski, Szymanski, Zalewski; Swiderski, Lewandowski
Goalkeepers: Szczesny, Grabara, Skorupski
Defenders: Bednarek, Glik, Gumny, Jedrzejczyk, Kiwior, Wieteska, Bereszynski, Cash, Zalewski
Midfielders: Bielik, Frankowski, Grosicki, Krychowiak, Kaminski, Skoras, Szymanski, Zielinski, Zurkowski
Forwards: Lewandowski, Milik, Piatek, Swiderski
This match at Stadium 974 could go a long way to determining which side joins many people’s favourites Argentina in the last 16.
Mexico are ranked 13 places higher than Mexico in the latest FIFA rankings, though our supercomputer prediction model can barely separate the sides.
Poland have a 35% chance of winning, compared to 35.1% for Mexico, with the draw predicted at a 29.2% likelihood.
Players to Watch
Mexico: Hirving Lozano
|Photo: Getty Images|
No team kept more clean sheets during the third round of CONCACAF qualifying than Mexico (eight), but putting the ball in the net has proved to be more of a problem.
With Raul Jimenez struggling for fitness, having played just three Premier League games for Wolves all season, there is even more onus on Lozano up top.
The Napoli forward is enjoying a good season at club level and already has proven World Cup pedigree, having made a name for himself with his strike against Germany in 2018.
Poland: Robert Lewandowski
It required more than just Lewandowski’s goals alone for Poland to qualify, but there is no denying they need their star performer to be on top form if they are to make an impact.
Lewandowski has made a good start at new club Barcelona, with his 18 goals bettered only by Erling Haaland (23) and Kylian Mbappe (19) across Europe’s top five leagues.
Worryingly for Poland, though, their most recent open-play goal at the World Cup came 20 years ago, with each of the past five coming via set-pieces.
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