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Mexico vs Poland predictions: El Tri to struggle in front of goal
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Dan Sait
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Poland coach Czesław Michniewicz will fancy his team's chances against Mexico
Poland coach Czesław Michniewicz will fancy his team's chances against Mexico

- Mexico have struggled in the absence of star forwards Jesus Corona and Raul Jimenez
- Poland are solid and will be led by world-class talent Robert Lewandowski
- Recommended bet: Poland to win to nil

Mexico arrive in Qatar undermined by injuries to the frontline that has carried them in recent years, and that will be a huge concern in this opener against Poland.

Poland will fancy their chances of starting their World Cup campaign with a win as they face a Mexico side who are plagued by injuries to their frontline.

Mexico arrive in Qatar undermined by injuries to the frontline that has carried them in recent years, and that will be a huge concern in this opener.

Both they and Poland know that defeat in their opening game will all but end their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Both teams will expect to beat Saudi Arabia and will expect little from their meeting with hotly fancied Argentina, so failure to perform in their opening game could see them fall at the first hurdle.

Poland have struggled to fully exploit the genius of world-class attacker Robert Lewandowski in recent years, but manager Czesław Michniewicz will fancy his chances of leading the Eagles into the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Gerard Martino will hope his side can improve their fortunes in front of goal
Gerard Martino will hope his side can improve their fortunes in front of goal

Team news

Mexico are without two of their best players, who are either absent or short of fitness.

Star man Jesus Corona suffered last-minute heartbreak as the Sevilla winger failed to recover from a broken leg to make the squad.

Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has travelled despite nursing a groin injury but is unlikely to start as he continues to recover.

Poland manager Michniewicz has a near fully fit squad to choose from. Jakub Moder is the only member of his usual selection who failed to make the squad, as the Brighton midfielder has yet to recover from an ACL injury sustained in April.

The stats

Mexico have qualified for each of the last seven World Cups and have reached the round of 16 on each occasion.

However, they reached Qatar in an unconvincing fashion, winning only eight of 14 matches in the Concacaf final round. El Tri’s record against fellow qualifiers was particularly unimpressive as they drew all three home games against Canada, the USA and Costa Rica while losing away to Canada and the US, as well as drawing in Panama.

Mexico’s last 10 matches have seen them lose as many games as they have won, four apiece with two draws. But the wins in that run came against Iraq, Peru, Suriname and Nigeria, while they lost heavily to Uruguay and suffered single-goal defeats to Paraguay, Colombia and Sweden.

Poland qualified behind England in Uefa Group I but lost only twice, 2-1 at Wembley and 2-1 to a Hungary side who have shown how dangerous they can be at Euro 2020 and in the Nations League.

Apart from that defeat to Hungary, Poland have lost only to Belgium and Netherlands in their last 16 international matches. That run has taken in a draw against England, home and away victories over Wales and a convincing 2-0 defeat of Sweden in their World Cup qualifying play-off.

Prediction

This looks set to be a tight encounter between two mid-ranking World Cup finalists, but the difference in firepower could make the difference.

Lewandowski is an elite talent who has benefitted from manager Michniewicz building a team focused on getting the best out of him. The Barcelona forward netted nine goals in nine qualifying appearances. Lewandowski is an obvious but essential addition to any BetBuilder combinations.

Mexico are a potent threat when Corona and Jimenez are fit and firing, but with one out and another a significant injury doubt, they lack cutting edge while remaining defensively vulnerable. A recent record of conceding six goals in three defeats to teams who failed to qualify for the World Cup is a worry.

While Poland do not have the depth of quality to be confident of an emphatic victory, they have a well-organised team that boasts Champions League quality in goal in the shape of Wojciech Szczesny and arguably the best striker in the world in Lewandowski.

Poland are the better side and should keep a clean sheet, and Poland to win to nil at 11/4 with LiveScore Bet looks the way to go in this fixture.

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