Saudi Arabia vs Mexico predictions: Saudis can spring another surprise
Copy icon

Dan Sait
Spotlight
Herve Renard's Saudi Arabia have impressed in Qatar so far
Herve Renard's Saudi Arabia have impressed in Qatar so far

- Saudi Arabia will qualify with a win or perhaps a draw 
- Mexico need a win and other results to go their way but have struggled in attack 
- Recommended bet: Saudi Arabia or draw double chance

After their sensational win over Argentina, Saudi Arabia can still qualify for the last 16 with a win over Mexico in their final group game on Wednesday, while a draw may even be enough.

Unlike in recent World Cups, when the Saudis' most notable contribution has been to offer opponents some eye-watering goal tallies, Herve Renard’s Green Falcons are defensively resilient and offer genuine attacking threat.

Having stunned Argentina on day three of the World Cup with that 2-1 come-from-behind victory, another win against Mexico would see them into the round of 16.

Mexico’s chances are far slimmer as they must win and hope for either a Poland victory over Argentina or see Argentina beat Poland with a four-goal swing in Mexico’s favour.

The second part is complicated, and achieving the first is a big enough ask for El Tri as they have shown little to suggest they can turn it on against a hard-running and highly-motivated Saudi side.

Team news

Renard has a number of absences to work around, with defensive midfielder Abdulelah Al-Malki suspended for collecting two yellow cards and three players out through injury.

Left-back Yasser Al-Shahrani will definitely miss out after his horror injury in the Argentina match. He sustained a fractured jaw and cheekbone and suffered internal bleeding in a collision with goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais.

Captain Salman Al-Faraj was also ruled out of the rest of tournament in that match, and midfielder Riyadh Sharahili also looks unlikely to feature having yet to play a minute in Qatar due to a muscle injury.

Mexico captain Andres Guardado was forced off in the first half against Argentina with a thigh strain and will miss the meeting with Saudi Arabia but striker Raul Jimenez may be ready to start following a couple of substitute appearances.

Raul Jimenez could start for Mexico against Saudi Arabia
Raul Jimenez could start for Mexico against Saudi Arabia

Jesus Manuel Corona failed to make the squad as he recovers from a broken leg.

The stats

Mexico have beaten only Iraq, Peru and Suriname in 11 games since May, losing to Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Sweden and Argentina in that run, while drawing against Jamaica.

Saudi Arabia’s only losses in 10 games have come against Poland in their second group game and in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Croatia, with the Green Falcons beating Argentina and holding USA and Ecuador in that run.

They were unlucky in the 2-0 defeat to Poland, too, Renard’s men posting a higher expected goals tally than the Europeans and they had a penalty saved in a fantastic display by Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Mexico have lacked attacking intent in Qatar, as shown by their expected goals ratings of just 0.7 and 0.3 in meetings with Poland and Argentina.

Prediction

Both teams come into this match with key men missing, but Saudi Arabia arrive in higher spirits and with genuine belief that they can make the round of 16.

By contrast, reports emerging from the Mexican camp suggest there is a downbeat atmosphere with a sense that their chance has already gone after the 2-0 defeat to Argentina that followed a disappointing 0-0 draw with Poland.

In the absence of Corona and with Jimenez not fully match fit, Mexico have lacked attacking threat and have struggled to find a way to hurt their opponents. 

They have managed just five shots on target across the two games and are yet to score.

This is likely to be a tight encounter but it is priced up on reputation rather than recent form and Mexico are unconvincing at prices as short as 4/6. Instead take Saudi Arabia or draw double chance at 23/20.

Qatar 2022 Squads: They Score, You Score!

LiveScore Bet's World Cup 2022 Squads is free and simple to play. Log in to view the Squads page, where you will get the chance to reveal up to five players. Your squad will earn you cash for each goal scored in the listed games. Reveal each player at the stated time throughout the round to complete your line-up. T&Cs apply – click here for more details.

Tags

Saudi ArabiaMexicoWorld Cup
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

Get instant notifications with the LiveScore app
app-storegoogle-play
cristiano Ronaldo