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Messi magic, Eriksen's return and defending champions France — What to watch out for on Day 3 of FIFA World Cup 2022

Messi magic, Eriksen's return and defending champions France — What to watch out for on Day 3 of FIFA World Cup 2022

Messi magic, Eriksen's return and defending champions France — What to watch out for on Day 3 of FIFA World Cup 2022
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By Oumar Aga  Nov 22, 2022 1:20:45 PM IST (Updated)

After hosts Qatar's drubbing at the hands of Ecuador on Day 1, England's emphatic win over Iran on Day 2, Day 3 of FIFA World Cup 2022 will see Lionel Messi's magic, Christian Eriksen's return and defending champions France in action.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is off to a flyer. Fans have packed the stadiums and created an intimidating atmosphere so far and the teams on the pitch have responded well to that support. As we head into the next set of fixtures, let’s take a glance at what can be expected from these games.

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The action starts at the Lusail Stadium with cracking favourites vs underdogs clash between Argentina and Saudi Arabia in Group C. This will be the first time La Albiceleste will face a team from Asia in the World Cup. History favours the Argentinians as Lionel Messi will be hoping to get off the mark against the Arabian Falcons to set the right tempo for his team.
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As both sides take the field, the prolific trio of Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez and Messi could wreak havoc in the opposition penalty area. Al-Dawsari and Al-Faraj will look for opportunities for Saudi but the midfield wall of Argentina with Leandro Paredes at its heart could help restrict the Arabs in their own half, making it a one-sided match-up.
Another South American side will be in action after the Argentina-Saudi Arabia encounter. Mexico will go toe-to-toe with Poland in the other Group C encounter as Robert Lewandowski comes face-to-face with Guillermo Ochoa. Lewandowski’s stats in front of goal are no big secret but the Barcelona striker will be tested by one of the best goalkeepers of the World Cup.
Poland are currently ranked 26th in the world but failed to qualify for the 2010 and 2014 editions. Additionally, the Eagles have not gone beyond the knock-out round since 1986. Mexico, on the other hand, have made it to the quarterfinals twice, a feat they would be eager to repeat this year.
Group D will come to life after the Mexico-Poland clash. Dark horses Denmark will be up against tricky Tunisia, aiming for back-to-back Round of 16 qualifications. When the Red and Whites meet Eagles of Carthage, it will pit one of the most outspoken critics of the tournament being hosted by Qatar against one of the four Arab nations competing.
However, political opinions will be on pause as the performance on the pitch will matter more. The Danes may not have one of the best attacks in the World Cup this time around but will field a solid defence that is bound to keep Tunisian attackers at bay. Denmark striker Kasper Dolberg could enjoy a better game compared to Tunisia’s front-man Wahbi Khazri.
The first round of fixtures in Group D will be wrapped up with the defending champions France locking horns with Australia. The two sides will be facing each other in the group stage for the second consecutive World Cup. In 2018, Les Bleus emerged victorious in the fixture as Australia eventually finished at the bottom of the table.
Injury-riddled France will be without a few key players, including Karim Benzema, but still have enough firepower in the squad to see them ease past the Socceroos. The midfield may be an area of vulnerability for the French but the solid defence and clinical attack tips the scales in favour of Les Bleus.
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