World Cup betting picks: Best bets for Mexico vs Saudi Arabia
Alex Buck makes his picks and predictions for Mexico vs Saudi Arabia at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
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Mexico find themselves in a vulnerable situation as they head into their third and final game of the World Cup group stages. Following their 2-0 defeat to Lionel Messi and Argentina, Mexico are now rooted firmly to the bottom of Group C. Even if they win against Saudi Arabia, they will be reliant on a favorable result between Poland and Argentina.
Mexico’s -2 goal difference is the worst in the group and, even if they beat Saudi Arabia, could still play a factor in their exit from the tournament. A Poland and Mexico win would send them through and send both Argentina and Saudi Arabia home. If Poland and Argentina draw, the -2 goal difference will come into play, and Mexico would need to win by four clear goals to leapfrog Argentina who sit on +1.
Of course, none of that matters if Saudi Arabia can replicate the performance and passion they showed against Argentina in the opening game of their World Cup campaign. Dubbed perhaps the greatest World Cup upset of all time, Saudi Arabia won the hearts of neutral fans around the world. They’re energetic, passionate and have played their hearts out for their country.
The loss against Poland leaves Saudi Arabia with work to do against Mexico, and they too will need to control their own fate. A draw would send them through if Poland beat Argentina, but any other result in that game would mean Saudi Arabia have to come away with three points to advance.
Mexico vs Saudi Arabia Odds
3-way handicap: Mexico -1 (+170) | Draw -1 (+260) | Saudi Arabia +1 (+120)
Draw No Bet: Mexico -350 | Saudi Arabia +240
Over/Under Goals: Over 2.5 (-140) | Under 2.5 (+100)
Double Chance: Saudi Arabia or Tie +130 | Tie or Mexico –450 | Saudi Arabia or Mexico -395
Both teams to score: Yes -135, No +110
Mexico vs Saudi Arabia Preview
Mexico made the fatal mistake of allowing Lionel Messi space on the edge of the box in the 64th minute of their second World Cup game. Messi fired a low and accurate strike into the bottom right corner, just squeezing it between the post and the outstretched hand of Guillermo Ochoa.
Mexico have struggled to create chances and are yet to score a goal in the tournament. Their No. 1 striker Raul Jimenez is not 100 per cent healthy and is yet to start a game at the tournament. His club manager Julen Lopetegui had wanted him to stay home and focus on getting healthy after a spell of injuries.
So far, Jimenez has managed to make two substitute appearances, but has failed to impact both games through a lack of service going forward. Injury struggles continued for Mexico when heavily capped veteran Hector Herrera had to be substituted off late in the first half of the Argentina game. His status for the remainder of the tournament is not yet known, but his experience in the middle of the pitch will be severely missed should he be ruled out.
Hirving Lozano and Alexis Vega provide the attacking quality going forward, but neither have any support when in possession, and the team lacks that clinical striker presence that Jimenez provides when he’s fully healthy.
Vega has played well so far in the tournament and looked to be the most dangerous goal scoring threat the team has. The team needs to create more chances, but having watched the first two games, I’m not sure where that creativity in the final third is going to come from. Mexico managed just four shots against Argentina, and only one on target.
Saudi Arabia came crashing back down to earth after their euphoric win against Argentina in their opening game of the tournament with a follow-up loss against Poland. The result not only gave Poland control of the group but means Saudi Arabia will now likely need to win against Mexico to achieve a historic place in the knockouts of a World Cup tournament.
A team that had looked so full of energy and passion against Argentina fell flat against Poland, making poor decisions with the football and gifting a goal to Robert Lewandowski.
Lewandowksi was influential in the first goal of the game, with his failed shot attempt rebounding, allowing him to roll it into the path of team mate Piotr Zielinski, who slotted it home. The Saudi side were unable to contain Lewandowski throughout the game, and had it not been for a great save from goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais, the world-class Polish striker could have scored a second following the disastrous mistake in possession that led to his first, and Poland's second goal of the game.
Saudi Arabia needs to regroup after a disappointing performance and go out and challenge a Mexico side on the brink of elimination. Front man Salem Al Dawsari was kept out of the game and largely isolated by Poland. If Saudi Arabia wants to win and advance, they need to link up with their star man and give him a chance to create a spark. Al Dawsari scored the first goal in the Argentina game after some beautiful footwork to create a little space, before curling a shot beyond Argentina’s goalkeeper.
Mexico vs Saudi Arabia Predictions
This should be a fun game to watch for the neutrals but will be a nail-biter for fans of both nations. Mexico knows they need to win and will need to go into the game with a plan to attack Saudi Arabia from the very first whistle. Hirving Lozano and Alexis Vega will need to drive at the Saudi defenders to create chances, and the game should really open up with plenty of opportunities at both ends.
I am still struggling to see where the goalscoring quality will come from for Mexico if Raul Jimenez is not healthy enough to start the game. Saudi’s quality in attack could also punish them going the other way. This should be a game blessed with goals as a result of high intensity attacking play, resulting in an end to end game that will seal the fates of both sides at the World Cup.
Below are my free soccer same game parlay picks.
Mexico vs Saudi Arabia Same Game Parlay Picks
I think we’ll see goals in the game for both sides as the two teams set out to progress in the tournament. Mexico knows that even with a win they could be going home, and have nothing to lose as a result.
Saudi Arabia needs to channel the same energy they generated in the opening game against Argentina, and if they’re able to do that, I do fear for Mexico here. I’m not sure Mexico can keep up with the pace that this game will require. They don’t move the ball fast enough and lack the quality to control the possession of the game.
Saudi Arabia manager Herve Renard’s half time speech during the Argentina game went viral because of the passion and fight he instilled in his players. If we see that team, rather than the poor performance against Poland, I can see Saudi Arabia winning the game and advancing to the knockouts, so I’ll take the three-way handicap here.
Mexico are yet to score in the tournament, but it’s been 25-year-old Alexis Vega who has looked the most dangerous. In a game where the Mexican team will be driving forwards with an urgency to win and very little to lose, there should be more opportunities for Lozano and Vega to attack the Saudi Arabia goal.
I’d like to see better link-up play from Mexico in the final third, and I’ll back Vega to have a couple of goalscoring opportunities.
Total Goals Market
There should be goals here. These two sides have it all to play for and should both be on the front foot. As mentioned earlier, this could be a great spectacle for the neutrals and an end-to-end intense encounter for both teams. As the game opens up, I can see both teams scoring and the game ending with at least three goals overall.