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World Cup Group C predictions: Argentina a class above the rest
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Tom McGarry
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Few will be looking past Argentina and Lionel Messi in Group C
Few will be looking past Argentina and Lionel Messi in Group C

- Argentina are currently on a 35-match unbeaten run
- Poland are bidding to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time since 1986
- Recommended bet: Argentina and Poland straight forecast

Argentina are the standout team in Group C at the World Cup, but there is likely to be a two-way battle to join the South American giants in the knockout stages.

Argentina: Messi and co to top group at 2/5

There is arguably no side in better form heading into the World Cup than Argentina, who have not tasted defeat across their last 35 matches, a run that stretches back over three years.

If La Albiceleste avoid defeat in Group C then they will set a new world record for the longest unbeaten run in men's international football, something they will expect to achieve in matches against Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.

Argentina are certainly the class act in the group and they have an abundance of attacking talent, not least in the shape of Lionel Messi, with the Paris Saint-Germain star having seemingly returned to the top of his game this season just in time for what could be his final appearance at the World Cup finals.

Messi will be joined in attack by the likes of Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala, a frightening prospect for most defences. Head coach Lionel Scaloni also has a strong backline to rely upon, spearheaded by Tottenham's Cristian Romero.

The two-time world champions certainly look the complete package and they can be backed at 2/5 with LiveScore Bet to top the group and 5/1 with LiveScore Bet to go on and lift the trophy for a third time.

Poland (10/11 to qualify): Knockout stages could finally await

Robert Lewandowski's goals could be the key for Poland
Robert Lewandowski's goals could be the key for Poland

Poland finished third at the World Cup in 1974 and 1982, but it is over 36 years since they last qualified for the knockout rounds, as they have fallen at the group stage on their last three appearances at the finals.

However, Czeslaw Michniewicz's side could finally be ready to make a return to the last 16 in Qatar and they have a not-so-secret weapon up their sleeve in Barcelona forward Robert Lewandowski, who is 28/1 to finish as the tournament's top scorer with LiveScore Bet.

Lewandowski's almost unrivalled firepower could be key to Poland's hopes of progressing, with their crucial match set to come in their opening fixture against Mexico on November 22.

Mexico (17/20 to qualify): El Tri always reach knockout rounds

Mexico have reached the knockout stages at each of the last seven World Cups, but this does not look like a vintage El Tri side that is heading to Qatar.

Head coach Gerardo Martino has doubts surrounding the fitness of star striker Raul Jimenez, who may not be ready for their group opener with Poland, while other key members of the squad have perhaps gone beyond their prime.

Past experience of reaching the last 16 could play into Mexico's favour, but this feels like it may be one tournament too far for the CONCACAF giants.

Saudi Arabia: Bottom place awaits at 3/10

If recent history is anything to go by, Saudi Arabia are not likely to challenge for a top-two finish in Group C, with the Green Men having fallen at the group stage on their last four appearances at the finals, winning just one match during that time.

Although conditions will favour Herve Renard's team in Qatar, they should still fail to lay a glove on any of their rivals. However, if they can manage to take a point off one of those teams, then that could end up having huge repercussions in the group.

This feels like being another early exit for Saudi Arabia, who last made it through to the knockout stages on their debut appearance at the finals in 1994.

Verdict

Argentina should have no problems topping the group and they will expect a minimum return of seven points from their three matches, while Saudi Arabia look prime contenders to prop up the section.

That leaves an interesting battle between Poland and Mexico to finish second in the group, and although recent history favours the North Americans, it is the European side that appear to have the extra firepower and star quality to make it through.

Predictions

Argentina and Poland straight forecast - 7/4 with LiveScore Bet

Poland to qualify - 10/11 with LiveScore Bet

Tags

World CupArgentinaPolandSaudi ArabiaMexico
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