Argentina vs Mexico predictions: La Albiceleste to produce perfect response
- Argentina's national record 36-game unbeaten run was brought to an end by Saudi Arabia
- Mexico last failed to get out of the group stage at a World Cup in 1978
- El Tri have failed to beat La Albiceleste in their last 10 meetings — losing eight and drawing two
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After their shock 2-1 opening defeat to Saudi Arabia, Argentina will be hoping to get their World Cup campaign back on track when they face Mexico in Group C at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Saturday.
La Albiceleste were stunned by Herve Renard's side on Tuesday, as the Green Falcons came from 1-0 down to win 2-1, and the pressure is now on Lionel Scaloni's men to respond with a victory against Mexico.
El Tri began their quest for glory with a 0-0 draw against Poland and the lack of attacking threat available to Gerardo Martino, who has been in charge since 2019, will be a big concern for the North American outfit.
Lionel Messi trained away from his Argentina team-mates on Thursday after picking up an apparent knock to his left leg, but this is not expected to be a cause for concern and he should retain his place in the starting XI.
Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez could be drafted into defence, replacing either Cristian Romero or Nicolas Otamendi, while Paulo Dybala is pushing to be involved in some capacity.
Wolves striker Raul Jimenez came off the bench in Mexico's 0-0 draw against Poland and he could be promoted to the starting XI.
Barring any late injuries, that could be the only change made from the stalemate.
Argentina's defeat to Saudi Arabia was the first time they have lost their opening match at a World Cup since 1990, when they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Cameroon, while the loss also ended the country's record 36-game unbeaten run.
La Albiceleste, who went on to finish runners-up in 1990, have a habit of bouncing back after suffering defeats.
Of their last 10 losses Argentina suffered before that shock against the Green Falcons, they have chalked up nine victories and a draw in their next match after each.
Mexico have qualified from the group stage at a World Cup for the last seven tournaments, having last failed to do so in 1978, but they have not gone past the last-16 stage since reaching the quarter-finals in 1986.
El Tri have generally struggled against Argentina and are without a win in the last 10 meetings — losing eight (one in extra-time and one on penalties) and drawing two.
Mexico's last victory over Argentina came at the 2004 Copa America.
Argentina will be desperate to get their World Cup back on track and that could spell trouble for Mexico, who have conceded eight goals in the last three meetings between the two and failed to score in any of those.
Had it not been for VAR, La Albiceleste could have been four goals to the good at the break against Saudi Arabia and there is every chance they will click into gear at Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Messi scored from the spot against the Green Falcons and this was the second time he has opened his account in the opening match at a World Cup, after 2014.
The country's talisman went on to score four times in total eight years ago, so his fast start will be a worry for Mexico.
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