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Argentina v Mexico: Pressure on Messi’s men to make amends

| 23.11.2022

Argentina v Mexico betting tips, predictions and odds

There was already pressure on Lionel Messi to deliver before a ball was kicked at this World Cup and it has been cranked right up ahead of Argentina’s second Group C game against Mexico.

For many, this was supposed to be Messi’s crowning moment but his bid to land the greatest prize in football got off to a terrible start with defeat by Saudi Arabia leaving Argentina bottom of their section behind the Mexicans and Poland, who drew their opener.

Saturday’s match at the Lusail Stadium kicks off at 7pm and is live on ITV.

Big guns to fire early

It started so well for Messi and his team-mates in Qatar. The Paris St Germain superstar became just the fifth player to score at four World Cups when he slotted home an early penalty against Saudi Arabia.

Argentina also had three first-half goals ruled out for offside (one from Messi and two from Lautaro Martinez) before Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari turned the game on its head and shattered a 36-match unbeaten run with one of the World Cup’s greatest upsets.

The Argentina winning odds of 3/5 to beat Mexico, who are 5/1 with the draw 11/4, point to them getting back on track and we expect them to make another fast start.

They are 9/2 to be winning after 15 minutes and that kicks off our Argentina v Mexico betting tips.

Long night in store for Ochoa

Mexico too have a star man in the twilight of his career. Their 37-year-old goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saved Robert Lewandowski’s penalty in Tuesday’s goalless draw but that moment apart, the crowd at Stadium 974 witnessed a forgettable 90 minutes.

Ochoa was in fine form at the last two World Cups as his side reached the last 16; the same stage they have exited every tournament since USA 94.

Mexico have probably forgotten how it feels to leave a World Cup after the group games and Ochoa certainly won’t want that on his CV, but this could be a tough 90 minutes for him and his defence.

The favourites minus two goals on the handicap is 19/4 and the second selection in our Argentina v Mexico predictions.

Messi to make amends

Could Argentina really bow out early? Germany did four years ago while Spain, Italy and England crashed and burned in Brazil in 2014.

Doubts have crept in since Tuesday’s shocker but to put a positive spin on Argentina’s defeat, it had to come at some point after such a long run without loss. And it’s probably better when there’s time to put things right.

Messi can do just that and you can get 5/1 for him to score two goals or more on Saturday night.

View the latest World Cup odds

All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publication



Andrew McDermott

Andrew is a sports betting content journalist at PA Media. He is a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan but when he isn't reminiscing about their Premier League days he is also a junior cricket coach and enjoys cycling.