FIFA World Cup: Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia Odds & Recap

Early Morning Group C Opener

⚽Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: Game Recap⚽

Results: Argetina 1-2 Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has done it! The first upset of the World Cup came at the hands of +1900 underdog Saudi Arabia. However, they were able to come back and produce one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, winning 2-1 against Argentina. Argentina was the obvious favorite at -650, with an 87% implied chance of winning.

Right from kick-off, Argentina looked like they would dominate the match. However, Argentina was on course to prove why they are the tournament favorite, as Messi opened his fifth and final World Cup by stroking home a 10th-minute penalty.

But for three goals being chalked off for offside, one for Messi and two for Lauturo Martinez, Argentina would have been home and dry before halftime. Still, Saudi Arabia turned the game on its head after the break in an extraordinary fashion.

The 51st-ranked Saudis were trailing to Lionel Messi’s 10th-minute penalty, but Al-Shehri squeezed in an angled shot in the 48th minute after punishing poor Argentine defending.

Saudi Arabia’s fans were then sent into delirium not even five minutes later as Al-Dawsari curled a stunning shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Group C is wide open with Mexico and Poland ending in a draw. Messi and Argentina have a small hill to climb if they want to top the group. Saudi Arabia are now a potential dark horse to watch throughout the tournament.

📊 Team Stats 📊

ARG Argentina KSA Saudi Arabia
69% Possession 31%
15 Total Shots 3
6 Shots on Target 2
6 Shots Wide 0
3 Shots Blocked 1
0 Saves 5
9 Corners 2
0 Yellow Cards 6
0 Red Cards 0
7 Fouls 21
10 Offsides 1
85% Pass Accuracy 68%
6 Dribbles 3
21 Crosses 10
18 Tackles 19

Were We On the Right Track?

Below you will find all the predictions we made before the matchup, on November 15, 2022.

Argentina Carry Momentum into World Cup

Argentina figures to be one of the most popular teams for FIFA World Cup betting and for good reason. La Albiceleste are on a 35-match unbeaten run and would break Italy’s record with an undefeated group stage. So, Lionel Messi & Co. will kick off their World Cup campaign vs. Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia did well in AFC qualifiers but this is just about the hardest opening game possible for them. Let’s review the Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia odds and preview Tuesday’s match.

Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia

Date, time (TV):
Location: Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar
Streaming:: FS1, Telemundo

Team Standings and Odds:

Team FIFA World Ranking World Cup Qualifying Record Odds to Advance Odds to Win Group Odds to Win World Cup
Argentina 3 11-6-0, 2nd CONMEBOL -1600 -250 +500
Saudi Arabia 51 7-2-1, 1st AFC Group B +600 +2000 +75000

Head-to-Head:

All Meetings: Teams
Jul 1988: Argentina 2-2 Saudi Arabia
Jul 1988: Argentina 2-0 Saudi Arabia
Oct 1992: Saudi Arabia 1-3 Argentina
Nov 2012: Saudi Arabia 0-0 Argentina

Argentina and Saudi Arabia have met four times in total and last in 2012. In that international friendly 10 years ago, neither team scored a goal. Argentina holds a record of two wins and two draws vs. Saudi Arabia all-time. This is the first meeting between the two sides in the FIFA World Cup and the Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia odds favor Argentina.

Messi in Incredible Form for Argentina

  • Upcoming Matches: Nov. 26 vs. Mexico, Nov. 30 vs. Poland

At 35 years old, Lionel Messi isn’t getting any younger. The Argentina and Barcelona legend finally won an international trophy in 2021, at the Copa America. However, he’s still missing international soccer’s holy grail, the World Cup trophy. Messi has been in incredible form for Argentina heading into the World Cup. He has a ridiculous nine goals in Argentina’s last three matches.

With Messi’s form and Argentina’s long unbeaten run, they have the second-best odds to win the World Cup, at +500. This is as well rounded as any Argentina team has been for quite some time. The attacking trio of Messi, Angel di Maria and Julian Alvarez can cause problems for any defense.

Leandro Paredes and Rodrigo de Paul should form the base of a solid midfield. Meanwhile, coach Lionel Scaloni can call upon standouts Nicolas Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez, Cristian Romero and Nahuel Molina at the back, among others.

Expectations are quite high for Argentina at the World Cup and this could very well be Messi’s last shot at the trophy. He’s scored six goals across 19 career World Cup matches but Argentina may need him to be more prolific to have a shot. Regardless, Argentina are expected to be top dogs in an interesting group with Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s World Cup Struggles

  • Upcoming Matches: Nov 26 vs. Poland, Nov 30 vs. Mexico

Saudi Arabia’s last World Cup opener ended in a 5-0 loss to Russia. That scoreline isn’t remotely out of the question vs. Argentina but the Green Falcons have been excellent defensively over the last couple of years.

They conceded well under a goal per game en route to finishing first place in AFC Group B. Saudi Arabia finished above both Japan and Australia and automatically qualified.

Despite some good results, Saudi Arabia have the joint-longest odds to win FIFA World Cup. Both Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia show a +75000 price to win it all. Just getting out of the group could be a huge challenge for Saudi Arabia, who have just one win in their last 12 World Cup matches.

The Green Falcons will be underdogs in all three matches and scoring could be a big problem for them.

Winger and joint-active leading scorer Fahad Al-Muwallad was left out of the squad amidst a doping scandal. His absence will certainly hurt the team and midfielder Salem Al-Dawsari is the only active player with over 10 international goals. The Green Falcons have also failed to score more than one goal in 16 consecutive matches.

Match Analysis and Odds:

This is expected to be more of a warm up match for Argentina than a real challenge. Still, Saudi Arabia shouldn’t be taken lightly and have pulled off some decent results lately. They held both Ecuador and USA scoreless in September matches that ended in draws. Still, La Albiceleste come into the match as two-goal favorites and show -115 odds to cover the spread. Saudi Arabia are priced at -105 odds ATS.

Saudi Arabia are priced at +1900 odds to win the match and a draw sits at +700 odds. Argentina come into the World Cup on a four-game winning streak and have kept shutouts in each.

Argentina’s moneyline might not provide the best value, at -650. Those odds correspond to around an 87 percent chance of implied victory. Saudi Arabia are priced at +1900 odds to win the match and a draw sits at +700 odds.

Argentina come into the World Cup on a four-game winning streak and have posted shutouts in each. They’ve outscored their opponents by an average of 3.5 goals per game during that time.

Saudi Arabia will likely have no answer for Messi and Argentina’s deadly attack. The Green Falcons are also quite unlikely to see much of the ball throughout the course of the match. Under three goals for the match comes in at -125 odds, while over three sits at +105 odds. Punters can take Argentina to keep a fifth straight clean sheet at -210 Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia odds.

Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia FAQ

When did Argentina last win the FIFA World Cup?

Argentina’s last FIFA World Cup triumph was in 1986, in the days of Diego Maradona. Maradona’s performance at the World Cup, where he scored the “Hand of God” and “Goal of the Century” goals, is often regarded as the best of all-time.

When is Argentina playing Saudi Arabia in the World Cup?

Argentina kicks off Group C play vs. Saudi Arabia at 5:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, November 22.

When is the last time Argentina lost a match?

Argentina are entering the FIFA World Cup on a 35-game unbeaten run. The last time they lost was in the 2019 Copa America semifinals to Brazil.
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