Poland vs Saudi Arabia
Education City Stadium forms the backdrop as Poland and Saudi Arabia kick things off in the second round of a highly entertaining 2022 World Cup Group C.
Despite being the fifth-highest earner in Qatar, Barcelona superstar Robert Lewandowski failed to live up to the billing, squandering a second-half penalty during Poland’s uneventful scoreless draw with Mexico on day one. Poland’s life in Group C would have been much more tenable, yet they now have to avoid going winless in the opening two group stage rounds, which has been their undoing in each of their three World Cup appearances in the 21st century. However, Czeslaw Michniewicz’s men have kept a clean sheet in their last two World Cup games and could make it three shutouts in a row at the tournament for the first time since 1978. But with 17% of their all-time World Cup contest finishing 0-0, not even a clean sheet may do the trick for the underperforming Poles.
In the meantime, Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history by coming from a 1-0 halftime deficit to beat star-studded Argentina 2-1 in their group opener. Having defied the odds against one of the tournament favourites, the Saudis are now looking to score 2+ goals in three successive World Cup matches for the first time. Moreover, Herve Renard’s have won their last two World Cup outings, as many victories as they had amassed in their first 15 games in the competition (D2, L11). But on the downside, the ‘Green Falcons’ have lost a staggering nine of their ten World Cup encounters against European nations (W1), emphasising the size of the task at hand.