World Cup 2022: Chris Sutton reveals his Poland v Argentina prediction
Chris Sutton looks ahead to Poland's showdown with Argentina in the final round of Group C fixtures in Qatar
Chris Sutton is tipping Argentina to claim a 2-1 victory over Poland in their final Group C game on Wednesday night.
Argentina head into their last group fixture after having claimed a 2-0 victory over Mexico in their second group game in Qatar following their humiliating surprise defeat by Saudi Arabia in their opening fixture.
Lionel Messi’s side are currently second in Group C with three points, with Poland leading the way on four points thanks to their goalless draw with Mexico and 2-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.
A win for Argentina would secure their spot in the last 16, and former Chelsea FC striker Sutton is expecting to see Messi and company claim a narrow victory over Poland to secure their progress.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Sutton said: “Argentina were not great in the first half against Mexico but they still got the win they needed after suffering one of the great World Cup shocks against Saudi Arabia in their opening game.
“You wonder if it is written in the stars for Lionel Messi in this tournament the way they huffed and puffed against Mexico before he got the breakthrough goal.
“They played much better when Mexico opened up but now they need to win again to be sure of getting through, and it won’t be easy. They will have to work hard to break down a Poland side who are top of Group C after two games.
“A draw might also get Argentina through depending on what happens in the other match, but that way they would face France in the last 16 and no-one wants to play them next.”
Robert Lewandowski is set to lead Poland’s front-line on Wednesday night, with the 34-year-old having scored his first-ever World Cup goal in the 2-0 victory over Saudi Arabia last time out.
The FC Barcelona striker ended his run of four World Cup games without a goal when he scored the all-important second goal in Poland’s win on Saturday.
Speaking in the wake of that game, Lewandowski – who has scored 18 goals for FC Barcelona so far this season – admitted that it was a relief to finally find the net at a World Cup finals for the first time in his career.
“I’m aware that this may be my last World Cup,” Lewandowski said after the win over Saudi Arabia, after he also set up Piotr Zielinski for the opener in the first half. “Already during the anthem, singing the national anthem, I felt the emotions inside me.
“I wanted not only to be remembered for being at the World Cup, but for scoring goals there too. I always fought hard for a goal at the World Cup and today, I managed it.”
Lionel Messi was the driving force for Argentina in their 2-0 victory over Mexico at the weekend, with the PSG star having scored the first and set up the other to help fire his country to victory.
And the 35-year-old conceded that it was a relief to help his side bounce back from the shock and disappointment of their defeat by Saudi Arabia in their group-stage opener.
“We lived with discomfort given the defeat in the opening match [against Saudi Arabia] was something we didn’t expect,” said Messi after Saturday’s win.
““The days felt very long and we were eager to have the chance to turn it around. We knew it was a critical game. Luckily we had the option to win and it was a weight off our shoulders, a reason for joy and peace of mind because it is all down to us again.”