Mexico will face Poland in their first match of the World Cup in Group C. In that group is Lionel Messi’s Argentina, who are favorites to win the tournament as well as a lower-ranked Saudi Arabia. That means whoever wins the Mexico-Poland game could potentially secure the qualification to the next round. The two teams have met three times before, most recently in 2017, with one win each and one tie.
The game begins at 11 a.m. ET at Stadium 974 in Qatar. Follow along with our live coverage of the game right here on AS USA.
Mexico in the World Cup
El Tri has made it out of the group stage in their last seven World Cups and have won their opening game in five of the last six. Unfortunately for them though, they will be playing without star Jesus Corona who is still dealing with a leg injury. They’re also without their all-time lead scorer Javier Hernandez, who coach Geraldo Martino decided to leave out for some reason.
They do have Hirving Lozano, who has been in good shape with Napoli. Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa had some impressive stops in the last two World Cups and he’ll have the difficult task of stopping Poland’s star striker Robert Lewandowski.
Martino confirmed that Raúl Jiménez will be Mexico’s main striker, but that he would not start against Poland today as he is still getting back into shape after a groin injury in August. Martino said that Henry Martín will lead the attack against Poland instead.
Mexico national team full squad
Mexico possible starting lineup vs Poland
Guillermo OchoaJorge SánchezCésar MontesHéctor MorenoJesús GallardoEdson ÁlvarezHéctor HerreraLuis ChávezAlexis VegaHirving ‘Chucky’ LozanoHenry Martín
Poland in the World Cup
Poland has not made it past the group stage of a World Cup since 1982. They failed to qualify for the tournament at all in 2010 and 2014. In 2018, they lost their first two games before finally beating Japan in the last match. They have won their opening World Cup match just once, in 1974, when they beat Argentina. Since then, they have only scored one goal in the last six group-stage openers.
This year, they will be counting on star striker Robert Lewandowski, who won the Gerd Müller trophy got best striker of the year in October. However, he has failed to score in his previous three World Cup appearances. Besides Lewandowski, Poland have a young midfield who will need to step up and help him out, like Piotr Zielinski who’s played well for Napoli with six goals and five assists so far this season.
Poland national team full squad
Poland possible starting lineup vs Mexico
Wojciech SzczesnyJan BednarekJakub KiwiorKamil GlikSebastian SzymanskMatty CashKrystian BielikPiotr ZielinskiNicola ZalewskiRobert LewandowskiKarol Swiderski