Poland vs Argentina LIVE: Lionel Messi aims to fire his side into the last-16 of the World Cup… but the two-time champions will be OUT if they lose to Robert Lewandowski and Co
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Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the World Cup Group Group C clash between Poland and Argentina.
I’m not too sure many countries can rival them for the passion they show and the way they worship past and present stars. We need more of this.
and waving to the fans too – there’s plenty of them from Argentina too and they are making for a superb atmosphere.
It won’t be for everyone’s tastes but if Messi and Argentina go far this strip could become quite iconic – if you can get past the flames on the front of the shirt.
There are two at the back as Nahuel Molina comes into the defence in place of Gonzalo Montiel, while Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez makes way for Tottenham Hotspur’s Cristian Romero.
Guido Rodriguez makes way in the midfield for Enzo Fernandez while Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez comes into the attack to replace Lautaro Martinez.
Martinez, Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna, De Paul, Enzo Fernandez, Mac Allister, Messi, Julian Alvarez, Di Maria.
It’s the same team that defeated Saudi Arabia 2-0 with the exception of one change as Karol Swiderski comes in for Arkadiusz Milik into the attack.
Szczesny, Bereszynski, Kiwior, Glik, Cash, Zielinski, Krychowiak, Bielik, Frankowski, Swiderski, Lewandowski.
Tak zagramy z Argentyną!
W porównaniu z poprzednim meczem Karol Świderski zastąpi Arkadiusza Milika.
_________#POLARG 🇵🇱🇦🇷 #KierunekKatar pic.twitter.com/MMVi7DJ7th
One fan claims to have spent all his savings to watch Lionel Messi live – let’s hope for his sake it was worth it.
I’ve seen money spent on worse things to be fair to him.
At the very least the next stop will be Stadium 974 in Doha…
_________#POLARG 🇵🇱🇦🇷 #KierunekKatar pic.twitter.com/GdTasyEXjI
Through go Australia to join Holland, Senegal, England, USA France and Brazil after they defeated Denmark 1-0 – and you can read more about their progression here.
France, who had already qualified, were much changed in their starting line-up as they were beaten 1-0 by Tunisia who although tumble out can be proud of their efforts at this tournament.
And that is likely to mean that Argentina will be wearing their change strip, which is quite a snazzy number with its violet flames on the front. It looks better than it sounds to be honest.
FIFA are considering introducing penalty shootouts in the GROUP STAGE of the 2026 World Cup – to award bonus points if a match ends in a draw at the 48-team tournament in the USA, Canada and Mexico
I must have missed the general briefing of how you can take an already bad idea with a three-team group stage and making it as bad as possible.
Imagine if we organised tournaments on how it can help the actual entertainment. It can get you down when you realise that an already great game could be even better.
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The experienced Danny Makkelie will be overseeing this clash and England fans in particular have enjoyed good fortunes when he has been on the pitch.
The Dutchman was the referee for the England’s last-16 victory over Germany at Euro 2020 last year, as well as the semi-final triumph over Denmark.
Tottenham fans though won’t be as keen on Makkelie as it was he who ruled out Harry Kane’s goal in the Champions League against Sporting Lisbon last month in stoppage time that denied them a 2-1 victory and the chance of reaching the last-16 on the night.
At the World Cup, he had a good match overseeing Spain’s 1-1 draw with Germany a few days back.
Football legend Pele, 82, is hospitalised over ‘swelling all over and heart failure issues, with chemotherapy for cancer not working’ as he ‘struggles to eat’ with his wife by his side for tests in Sao Paulo
Some concerning news coming out of the football world this evening is that the Brazil legend is gravely ill.
You can read more about Pele’s concerning condition here. Fingers crossed for him.
They do though helpfully inform us that the publication of their team tonight will be about 5.30pm GMT – if I have converted time correctly from Eastern Europe.
PUBLIKACJA SKŁADU 🔜 18:30
_________#POLARG 🇵🇱🇦🇷 #KierunekKatar pic.twitter.com/ZlYIgxDfmk
What could be the reason for this? Rubbish goalkeepers, unpredictable footballs, better tactics? So many variables at play here.
8.6 – In this year’s World Cup, teams have needed an average of 8.6 shots per goal; the fewest in a World Cup since the beginning of detailed data collection in 1966. Quality. #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/3lnLTgpkWB
Perhaps surprisingly they have played as much as 11 times previously heading back to their first encounter in 1966.
There’s been two World Cup meetings in that time, the first in 1974 saw Poland come out 3-2 winners in a group stage match before they met again at the same phase four years later when Argentina hosted the World Cup and won 2-0.
The last meeting was in a friendly 11 years ago when Poland ran out 2-1 winners in Warsaw in front of 12,000. Argentina though fielded what at best could be described as a B team.
Terrible name, brilliant idea. Poland vs Argentina will take place at Stadium 974, so-called named because it is made out of…wait for it… 974 shipping containers.
Let’s face it, Qatar isn’t going to need so many 40,000+ stadiums after this World Cup so to have a temporary stadium for the occasion is a cracking idea.
Poland have already played here once in their draw with Mexico but we have had some good games here including Portugal’s 3-2 victory over Ghana, France’s 2-1 win over Denmark and Brazil’s narrow 1-0 triumph over Switzerland.
After tonight only Serbia vs Switzerland plus one last-16 match will be held before it is dismantled… but it could be rebuilt again at future World Cup. Think of it as a ground on wheels.
Touching moment a blind young Argentina fan celebrates Lionel Messi’s opening goal against Mexico after following his father’s hands on a game board… then wildly throws his cap off in celebration!
Playing the percentages, there is a good chance you could be an England fan following this game so you may not really care how Argentina get on this evening, at least if you strip away the Lionel Messi factor.
But you can’t help feeling you may want them to win a little when you see stories like this involving a blind fan and them celebrating a goal. I love this stuff – football really can be more than just a game.
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Market workers, shops and even restaurants are getting in the mood. Bonus points for our friend there with the Messi mask and World Cup trophy.
Right now we have the climax of Group D in play. France have already qualified as they take on Tunisia still hoping to reach the last-16 in a game you can follow here. Or if you prefer Australia and Denmark are also looking to join the French in the knockout stages here.
Argentina must win to be sure of qualification but they can progress with a draw as long as Saudi Arabia don’t win and Mexico don’t go goal crazy against the Asian outfit in their game that kicks off at the same time as this encounter.
Poland are through as long as they don’t lose – they could still progress with defeat if the other game is a draw. A Saudi Arabia win or a heavy Mexico victory would also eliminate Poland if Argentina win.
So it’s a little bit complicated in places so it’s probably best to see just how these games develop before we start counting on our fingers and thumbs in relation to goal difference.
We are at that stage of the competition now where every game could be Lionel Messi’s last at the World Cup finals.
But that is only part of the sub-plot. Like yesterday, it’s going to be a very eventful evening as all four teams from Group C battle for just two last-16 spots.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Sportsmail’s live coverage of Poland vs Argentina. I’m rather looking forward to this one I must say.
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