Messi trains for the first time with Argentina in Qatar
Argentina national team continues to prepare for the World Cup in Qatar. Check out images from another team training session.
Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: Line-ups
Red Hot Argentina Can’t Be Stopped
Lionel Scaloni’s side made the journey to Qatar with the Copa America already in the bag, and ending a 36-year run without World Cup glory is next on the agenda for the South American champions, whose luminary Messi had not even been born when they last went all the way in the World Cup.
Since losing 2-0 to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America, Argentina have embarked on an astonishing 36-game unbeaten run across all competitions, qualifying for the 2022 World Cup without losing a game and winning each of their last five in all tournaments.
A last-16 finish in 1994 represents Saudi Arabia’s sole progression beyond the group stage of the World Cup so far, and the world’s 51st-ranked nation do not arrive in Qatar in the best of form, having won just two of their last 10 matches in all tournaments.
Renard’s men drew 1-1 with Panama and lost 1-0 to Croatia in the build-up to the World Cup, and their last 10 games have only seen nine goals fly in at either end of the pitch, but the Arabian Falcons do at least possess the benefit of playing in such sweltering conditions on a regular basis.
Argentina and Saudi Arabia have never met at the finals of a World Cup before, but the Albiceleste boast a record of two wins and two draws from their previous four clashes with the Asian nation, most recently being held to a goalless stalemate in a 2012 friendly.
While Saudi Arabia have performed valiantly on the defensive front in 2022, a distinct lack of goals at the other end has been evident, and they are unlikely to experience much joy against a red-hot Argentina side. Scaloni’s men have swept aside almost every team that has come before them in the past three years, and we can only envisage La Albiceleste storming to a routine three points on matchday one.