World Cup 2022 Group C Team Previews
Argentina are the only team in Group C to have won a World Cup. They won the competition twice, once in 1978 and then in 1986. In the inaugural World Cup, Argentina placed second, establishing themselves as one of the best South American football teams at the time. They would withdraw and struggle in the tournaments that were held across the next 40 years, but then in 1978 they hosted the competition and won. Their closest attempt came in 2014 when they reached the finals and faced Germany again, but lost in another game that finished 1-0.
Saudi Arabia does not have the same history in the competition as the other teams, but it may surprise punters to learn that they first appeared in the competition in 1994. Saudi Arabia have qualified for the World Cup a total of 5 times before the current competition, and their best achievement came in 1994 when they reached the round of the last 16. Grouped together with the Netherlands, Belgium and Morocco, the team managed to win two of their games and qualified for the knockout stage. There they faced Sweden and were beaten 3-1. The Saudi Arabian team won 13 of their 18 qualifying matches, which was enough to secure them a place in the 2022 World Cup tournament.
All of the players in Saudi Arabia play in the domestic league. This could be a good sign for them, as not all of these players will have to travel or face any difficulties adjusting to the climate and they also play with or against each other fairly regularly, so they may find it easier to play as a cohesive unit.
Poland is the second most successful club in this group, having previously reached a third place finish on two separate occasions. They first entered the World Cup in 1938 and reached the round of 16. They would re-enter the competition in 1974, when it was played in West Germany, on the other side of the iron curtain, and the team managed to secure a third place finish. This tournament still used a structure with two group stages, followed by a playoff for the third place finish and a finals. Poland and Brazil both qualified for the third place playoff, and in one of the biggest triumphs for the country, they beat the favourites 1-0. In 1982, the competition again still used the two group stage format, only in this competition the teams all qualified for the semi-finals. Poland faced Italy in the semi-finals, but were beaten 2-0. They then faced France, who had been knocked out on penalties by West Germany, in the game to determine the third place finisher. Poland won the game 3-2, after scoring 2 goals in the last 5 minutes of the first and 1 more goal in the first minute of the second. This was to be the furthest the Polish team would reach in the competition, as they did not qualify through the 1990s, and they have only qualified for 3 tournaments since the 2000s.
Mexico has qualified for many World Cups, and the furthest they have reached in the prestigious tournament is the quarterfinals. In 1970, Mexico hosted the World Cup and had automatic entry into the competition. They won two out of the three games in their group to advance to the quarterfinals, where they faced Italy. Italy beat the hosts 4-1. In 1986, Mexico hosted the competition again, and this edition was famous because it saw the birth of the Mexican wave. Mexico won 2 out of the 3 group games to finish the group stage in first place. They then faced Bulgaria in the round of the last 16, and beat them 2-0 to reach the quarterfinals. Despite holding out to a draw against West Germany, Mexico could not make the most of the penalty shootout, and they lost to the Germans. Since 1994, Mexico has managed to reach the round of the last 16 in each of the 7 World Cups that have been played up to this point. This will not only give the team huge confidence, but it will also add to their fear factor amongst the other teams.